Semisynthetic resorbable materials from hyaluronan esterification

Davide Campoccia, Patrick Doherty, Marco Radice, Paola Brun, Giovanni Abatangelo, David F. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, research on new, biocompatible, degradable materials has seen the development of a series of modified natural polymers. Among these, a new class of materials consisting of different hyaluronan derivatives promises to be useful in a whole range of clinical applications thanks to their varied biological properties. These new materials are obtained by chemical modification of purified hyaluronan consisting of the partial or total esterification of the carboxyl groups of this natural polymer. This review on the properties of the new materials reports some of their biocompatibility and characterization aspects based on findings from studies conducted on the ethyl and benzyl hyaluronan esters, two representative members of this new class of compounds, and is intended to arouse interest in the potential of other, as yet unexplored derivatives. From the results of a number of investigations, the various derivatives appear to possess different physico-chemical properties, especially as far as the degree of hydration and polymer stability are concerned. In addition, the type of esterification and extent of chemical esterification of hyaluronan considerably affects the biological properties of these materials, offering a range of polymers either favouring or, conversely, inhibiting the adhesion of certain types of cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2101-2127
Number of pages27
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998


  • Artificial cartilage
  • Artificial skin
  • Biocompatiblity
  • Cell adhesion
  • Degradable biopolymers
  • Degradable scaffolds
  • Drug release
  • Hyaluronan
  • Hyaluronan esters
  • Hydrogels
  • Leukocyte activation
  • Resorbable materials
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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