Design of agarose-fucoidan hydrogels for Diabetes Treatment

last updated: 2018-02-21
ProjectNORTE45_3Bs :: publications list
TitleDesign of agarose-fucoidan hydrogels for Diabetes Treatment
Publication TypeComunications - Poster
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsReys L. L., Silva S. S., Soares da Costa D., Reis R. L., and Silva T. H.

Diabetes mellitus is a life-threating disease that affects 450 millions of people in the world, being the sixth most common cause of death. Therefore, it is crucial to develop new therapeutic strategies and models to treat this disease. In this perspective, marine origin polymers represent a relatively untapped source that can be used in the creation of hydrogels to attend these needs. Seaweeds, for instance, synthesize a wide variety of polymers and smaller compounds with several bioactivity properties. Fucoidan (Fu) is an important example, a sulfated polysaccharide extracted from the cell wall of brown seaweeds still underexploited for biomedical application. This polymer is mainly composed of L-fucose and its sulfated esters and may include glucuronic acid and other sugars. It has relevant properties namely reducing blood glucose, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. Agarose (Aga) is a polysaccharide derived from cell wall of red seaweeds. This polysaccharide is mainly composed by alternating units of b-D-glactopyranose and 3,6 anhydro-a-L-galactopyranose. One important property of agarose is the phenomenon of thermal hysteresis, motivating its use on the development of hydrogels. In this work, the biomedical potential of fucoidan/agarose (AgaFu)-based blends for the formation of hydrogels was assessed by processing as a thermal gelation at 37oC. The AgaFu hydrogels were obtained using 3 to 5 % (w/v) Fu aqueous solutions and adding 3 to 5 % (w/v) Aga powder. The AgaFu hydrogels were prepared using different proportions namely 50:50; 70:30 and 40:60 Ag/Fu. The structural characterization performed using FTIR, 1HNMR and XPS, confirmed the presence of the two polymers in the structure of hydrogels. Moreover, the stability of the developed hydrogels was assessed by their swelling in Dulbecco ́s phosphate buffer solution (DPBS) and cellular culture medium, which revealed that the obtained AgaFU hydrogels are stable during up to 28 days. In addition, the rheological tests revealed that hydrogels have non-newtonian, viscoelastic behaviour. Biological performance on the development constructs using human pancreatic beta cells is currently under investigation, envisaging their use for cell encapsulation as an advanced therapy for type I diabetes mellitus.

Conference NameChem2Nature Second School
Date Published2017-06-05
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
KeywordsDiabetes Mellitus treatment, Fucoidan hydrogels
Peer reviewedno

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