Polymers come in countless forms. Many world know around the fabricated human-made polymers watched in daily life - frequently in the form of plastic products - however there is additionally an abundance of natural and biological polymeric materials. In ~ natural and also biological polymers space a particular class recognized as carbohydrate polymers, and in this article, we’re going to look at few of the applications wherein carbohydrate polymers space used.

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There are numerous different types of carbohydrate polymers discovered throughout the body and also other organic materials, regularly in the kind of polysaccharides - lengthy chains that cyclic street groups connected via an oxygen bridge. Carbohydrate are frequently disaccharides, which space two cyclic sugar units bonded together, and also these carbohydrate molecules have the right to be prolonged further right into polysaccharide biomolecules. These polysaccharides can have very long molecule lengths and are regularly termed carbohydrate polymers.

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

Carbohydrate polymers are an environmentally friendly answer to fabricated polymers, have a short cost, are discovered in abundance, space renewable, and also can be easily modified to make products with superior properties. For these reasons, there has been a most interest in recent years roughly using carbohydrate polymers in various commercial applications.

Below, we’re going to look at few of the more widely offered applications that these usual carbohydrate polymers, but it is not an exhaustive list.

Drug Delivery

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As carbohydrate polymers are biomolecules discovered in the body, they have actually the potential come be great drug delivery vessels because of their inherent biocompatibility and capability to it is in excreted indigenous the body after the drugs have been delivered.

They do need to be modified first, however as a raw beginning material, certain materials have good potential, with hyaluronic acid and chitosan top the way. These materials have actually been supplied to develop hydrogels, liposomes, microparticles, and granules the can carry a wide selection of drugs with dermal and also oral shipment routes.

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

Corrosion Resistance

Carbohydrate polymers have additionally been touted as a course of molecules that have the right to prevent metals from corroding by acting as a chemistry inhibitor. Chemistry inhibitors have the right to be provided to safeguard metals against changes in pH, temperature, and moisture, and also any changes in the device where castle are supplied - such as transforms in the electrolyte in ~ a battery system.

Carbohydrate polymers room being trialed over various other chemicals due to the fact that they are much less toxic, of lower cost, are much less harsh come the setting once offered (eco-friendlier), and also are conveniently available. Many carbohydrate polymers have a unique inhibiting system to counteract corrosion, where they have particular absorption centers that can absorb various molecules the would cause the metal to corrode.

The inhibiting center is as result of the cyclic ring in the long chains gift able to type bonds with the just arrive molecules, for this reason trapping the corrosion-inducing molecules.


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

The usage of carbohydrate polymers has expanded to utilizing starch, cellulose, and chitosan together catalytic surfaces, whereby the carbohydrate polymers act together a support surface because that the reaction come take location on.

There are numerous reasons for trialing carbohydrate polymers in catalysis applications, including the ease v which the physical and chemical properties can be tuned, the presence of preferable functional groups, low toxicity, and high thermal stability.

Fuel Cells

Another area of attention is fuel cells. In fuel cabinet applications, chitosan, starch, cellulose, and also glycogen carbohydrate polymer have been supplied as the beginning material in different synthetic pathways, to yield new low cost and eco-friendlier polymer electrolytes. In this applications, their aim has actually not come be an ext efficient but administer a less toxic and also cheaper different to the standing quo.

Chitosan has likewise been touted together a product that deserve to be supplied in the proton-exchange membrane in fuel cells as its physical and also chemical properties have the right to be conveniently modified to fit the requirements required in this membranes, such as low methanol permeability and also hydrophobicity.

Sources and Further Reading

“Recent developments 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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Critchley, Liam. 2019. The Applications that Carbohydrate Polymers. rebab.net, regarded 14 December 2021, https://www.rebab.net/article.aspx?ArticleID=5292.