Smith, Alan M., Moxon, Samuel R. and Morris, Gordon (2016) Biopolymers as wound healing materials. In: Wound Healing Biomaterials - Volume 2: Functional Biomaterials. Woodhead Publishing: an imprint of Elsevier, pp. 261-287. ISBN 978-0-08-100606-1

Biopolymers are polymers produced from natural sources either chemically synthesized
from a biological material or entirely biosynthesized by living organisms.
The use of biopolymers from different sources has been investigated for many years
for pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. This has resulted in a multitude of
healthcare products on the market that use biopolymers in the formulation as a functional
excipient or even as an active ingredient. The diverse compositions, tuneable
physical behavior, and wide variety from which to choose have fueled the interest in
biopolymers. In addition, the relatively low cost of and renewable nature make this
class of material particularly attractive to in high-value sectors such as the pharmaceutical
and biomedical industries. The most frequently used types of biopolymer in
such applications are polysaccharides and proteins, the main focus of this chapter.
This chapter intends to provide an overview on the chemical and physical properties of
biopolymers used as wound healing materials and how these properties are exploited
as dressings.

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