Polymers derived from plant (polysaccharides) and animal (proteins) kingdoms have been widely used for a variety of biomedical applications including drug delivery and tissue regeneration. These polymers due to their biochemical similarity with human extracellular matrix components are readily recognized and accepted by the body. Natural polymers inherit numerous advantages including natural abundance, relative ease of isolation, and room for chemical modification to meet varying technological needs. In addition, these polymers undergo enzymatic and/or hydrolytic degradation in biologic environments into non-toxic degradation byproducts. Polysaccharides (carbohydrates) are often isolated and purified from renewable sources including plants, animals, and microorganisms. Majority of these polymers are found in the extracellular matrix components of organisms and participate in inter and intracellular cell signaling and contribute to their growth. All these features offer polysaccharide-based biomaterials much desired biological recognition, biocompatibility, and bioactivity. In spite ofmanymerits as biomaterials, these polysaccharides suffer from drawbacks including variations in material properties based on source, microbial contamination, uncontrolled water uptake, poor mechanical strength, and unpredictable degradation patterns. These inconsistencies have limited the usage of polysaccharides and biomedical application related technology development.Many of these polysaccharides have been chemicallymodified to achieve consistent physicochemical properties includingmechanical stability, degradation, and bioactivity and processed into microparticles, hydrogels, and 3D porous structures for tissue regeneration applications. Presence ofmultiple functionalities on the polymer backbone allows easy structuremodifi- cations for the required application. The current article focuses on the application of polysaccharide-basedmaterials in regenerative engineering and delivery.
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