Marta Jóźwiak-Bębenista, Jerzy Z. Nowak
Hialuronian: charakterystyka i praktyczne zastosowanie w medycynie
Hyaluronan: characteristics and practical applications in medicine
Hyaluronan/hyaluronic acid (HA) is a polysaccharide (glucosaminoglycan) naturally occurring in all animal species and humans. It is composed of repeating disaccharide units of glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-glucosamine, forming unbranched chains of high molecular weight. In the body, it occurs in the form of salt – hyaluronan and constitutes the main component of the extracellular matrix, contributing to the maintenance of proper tissue hydration and tension as well as transport of ions and nutrients. In addition to its structural role, hyaluronian exerts a full range of other biological functions, such as participation in the processes of embryogenesis, inflammation, wound healing and proliferation of cancer cells. The largest concentration of hyaluronian is in the umbilical cord, connective tissue, synovial fluid, vitreous humor and skin. The unique structure of hyaluronan that endows it with characteristic physicochemical properties, such as viscoelasticity and pseudoplasticity, decided about its wide application in many areas of medicine, as well as in cosmetology. This work is focused on the characterization of hyaluronan and its use for practical purposes and provides a brief overview of currently available hyaluronan-containing products occuring on the Polish and global pharmaceutical market.
Keywords: Hyaluronic acid, hyaluronan, ophthalmology, rheumatology, wound healing.