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Chapter 16

Biomedical Applications of Polysaccharide and Protein Based Aerogels

The myriad of natural and semisynthetic polysaccharides and proteins with distinct physicochemical, mechanical and biological properties allows the processing of innovative biomedical products with advanced performances. The design of aerogels from polysaccharides and proteins has received special interest due to their good biological performance, structure similar to that of the extracellular matrix and degradability by enzymes present in the body. This chapter seeks to provide an analysis of the state-of-the-art of bio-based aerogels and their biomedical applications. In drug delivery, bio-based aerogels are advantageous drug carriers able to face up to the challenges of the oral administration route: formulation of poorly-soluble drugs, proteins and polypeptide drugs. Aerogels are also especially promising for the respiratory tract routes (i.e. pulmonary inhalation and nasal administration) for the treatment of respiratory disorders, systemic diseases and pathologies of the nose, as well as drug delivery to the central nervous system and vaccination. For regenerative medicine, the high porosity (including mesopores) and the full pore interconnectivity are important features of aerogel scaffolds to promote cell attachment, angiogenesis and transport of nutrients and waste. Other recent applications of bio-based aerogels in health care sciences, such as wound healing, chronic invasive electrodes and non-invasive imaging, are also attracting a great deal of attention.

Print publication date: 29 Aug 2018
Copyright year: 2018
Print ISBN: 978-1-78262-765-4
PDF eISBN: 978-1-78262-997-9
ePub eISBN: 978-1-78801-519-6
From the book series:
Green Chemistry Series