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 structural components of walls of marine crustaceans plants algae and microorganisms. They have different chemical structures and exhibit a wide variety of molecular arrangements resulting in sheets and spirals of single double and triple helices. Further they constitute a large source of renewable resources offering a variety of beneficial functionalities to mankind especially in the domain of tissue engineering drug vehicles encapsulation 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 them are water soluble and are capable of significantly altering the functionality 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 as well as predicting their macroscopic behavior mainly related to their end-use applications. The current proposal is about determining the molecular structure and packing arrangement of a number of biologically important and industrially useful polysaccharides polysaccharide-blends and their interactions with solvent and solute molecules. The study includes polysaccharides such as iota-carrageenan kappa-carrageenan lambda-carrageenan 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 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 serve 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 their release profile from the polysaccharide matrix we are focusing on the structural characterization of several polymeric cocrystals. The polysaccharides such as iota-carrageenan kappa-carrageenan lambda-carrageenan gellan and xanthan are chosen as model samples as they are utilized in food systems for a longtime upon FDA approval combined with small drug molecules nutraceuticals and vitamins. We strongly believe that the structural results obtained from this study would be helpful in unraveling the polysaccharide:drug interactions towards the development of novel carriers utilizing polysaccharide fibers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
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