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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7697031, 17 pages
Review Article

Alginate: Current Use and Future Perspectives in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Applications

1Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Medical University of Białystok, Mickiewicza 2c, 15-222 Białystok, Poland
2Department of Microbioanalytics, Warsaw University of Technology, Noakowskiego 3, 00-664 Warsaw, Poland

Received 26 September 2016; Revised 16 November 2016; Accepted 5 December 2016

Academic Editor: Muhammet U. Kahveci

Copyright © 2016 Marta Szekalska et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Over the last decades, alginates, natural multifunctional polymers, have increasingly drawn attention as attractive compounds in the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields due to their unique physicochemical properties and versatile biological activities. The focus of the paper is to describe biological and pharmacological activity of alginates and to discuss the present use and future possibilities of alginates as a tool in drug formulation. The recent technological advancements with using alginates, issues related to alginates suitability as matrix for three-dimensional tissue cultures, adjuvants of antibiotics, and antiviral agents in cell transplantation in diabetes or neurodegenerative diseases treatment, and an update on the antimicrobial and antiviral therapy of the alginate based drugs are also highlighted.