This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. Polysaccharides comprise a distinct class of biopolymers produced universally among the living organisms. They form major structural components of the walls of marine crustaceans plants algae and microorganisms. They have extensive group of different chemical structures and exhibit a wide variety of unique molecular structures leading to sheets and spirals of single double and triple helices. They constitute a large source of renewable resources offering a wide variety of beneficial functionalities to mankind especially in the domain of biomaterials for tissue engineering drug vehicles and controlled release of nutraceuticals to name a few. In particular their special properties such as renewability biodegrability and biological activity spawn the development of novel applications. Many of these polysaccharides are water soluble and are capable of significantly altering the rheology of aqueous based solutions such as texture thickening gelling viscosity emulsifying hydrating and physical stability of food dispersions and find a gamut of food cosmetic biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. In this regard a detailed understanding about the structural diversity and fundamental knowledge of polysaccharides architecture with insights about their shape and atomic level interactions aids in understanding and predicting the functionality which is mainly related to their end-use applications. The current proposal is about determining the molecular architecture of a number of biologically important and industrially useful polysaccharides and polysaccharide-blends and their interactions with solvent and solute molecules. The study includes polysaccharides such as iota-carrageenan kappa-carrageenan lambda carrageenan;cepacian galactoglucomannan corn arabinoxylan and psyllium and binary systems such as acetan:glucomannan xanthan:glucomannan xanthan:galactomanna corn arabinoxylan:galactomannan iota-carrageenan:galactomannan and kappa-carrageenan-galactomannan. Further our recent research demonstrates that several drug molecules nutraceuticals and vitamins can be embedded in the crystalline lattice of iota-carrageenan leading to novel polymeric cocrystals. These materials are highly soluble in water compared to iota-carrageenan that displays gelation behavior. Further the thermal properties suggest that the entrapped molecules are protected by the carrageenan molecules from the external perturbations and these complexes have the potential to server as control delivery vehicles. In order to gain knowledge about the intrinsic interactions between the small molecules with the polysaccharide backbone so as to understanding the release profile of these small molecules from the polysaccharide matrix our second aim is centered on structural characterization of several polymeric cocrystals utilizing FDA approved food polysaccharides combined with small drug molecules as well as nutraceuticals. We strongly believe that the structural results obtained from this study would be helpful in understanding the polysaccharide:drug interactions towards the development of polysaccharide based controlled drug releasing carriers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-P (40))
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University of Chicago
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