Hyaluronic acid is a natural part of the human body. Found in the extracellular matrix, it hydrates the skin and is present in the eye. It is part of the ligaments, enabling our joints to move smoothly. Because of its versatility, it is widely used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
From a chemical point of view, it is a non-branched polysaccharide, which has varying biological effects depending on the molecular weight. Historically, it was obtained, quite inconsiderately, from animal tissue (rooster combs, tuna eyes, etc.), in a process accompanied by many ethical issues, health problems and risks. Therefore, companies specializing in the production of hyaluronan for cosmetic and pharmaceutical use (such as CONTIPRO) opt instead for more expensive, more complicated, but cleaner and risk-free biotechnological production. Here, hyaluronic acid is extracted from the cell walls of the bacteria Streptococcus zooepidemicus.
Hyaluronan’s huge latent potential is underscored by the more than 2,000 patents related to its use. What is more, the immense range of opportunities it offers is far from exhausted. This is only the beginning!
For an idea of the sheer extent to which hyaluronan can be used, let’s look at a few selected examples of its application in practice or proposed by recent scientific publications (listed by molecular weight):
Sodium hyaluronate 250 – 2200 kDa
eye surgery, intra-articular injection, biologically active bandages, treatment of cartilage and tendon injuries, scar tissue reduction, support for the regeneration of liver tissue, artificial skin and bone grafts, cartilage replacement, adipose tissue replacement material and soft tissue grafts
Sodium hyaluronate 7-250 kDa
anti-tumour therapy, enhanced immune response to bacterial infection, anti-inflammatory drugs, treatment of wounds and burns, support for the post-injury regeneration of the spinal cord, ancillary material for stem cell treatment
Sodium hyaluronate oligosaccharides (4-12 mers)
tumour detection, nanoparticle-based anti-tumour therapy, stimulation of new blood vessels, venous insufficiency treatment