Seaweed-derived gels could be a new source of biocompatible material for medical implants that also has a positive impact on the environment. Researchers from the University of Wollongong hope to combine industrial seaweed farming and 3D printing to make biocompatible medical implants.
Seaweed extracts are already commonly used in goods as diverse as toothpaste, skin care products, paint, ice cream and salad dressing. However, research in the field of glycobiology – the study of complex sugars called glycans in living organisms – has shown that seaweed could also play a major role in the development of new biologically active materials for medical treatments.
Gel molecules taken from seaweeds are ideal candidates for medical implants and tissue engineering because they provide the necessary structural support and have also been found to inhibit microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. … (Read more)