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Marine-Derived Polymers In Ionic Liquids: Architectures Development And Biomedical Applications

Simone S. Silva, Joana M. Gomes, Luísa C. Rodrigues, Rui L. Reis

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Marine resources have considerable potential to develop high-value materials for applications in different fields, namely pharmaceutical, environmental, and biomedical. Despite that, the lack of solubility of marine-derived polymers in water and common organic solvents could restrict their applications. In the last years, ionic liquids (ILs) have emerged as platforms able to overcome those drawbacks, opening many routes to enlarge the use of marine-derived polymers as biomaterials, among other applications. From this perspective, ILs can be used as an efficient extraction media for polysaccharides from marine microalgae and wastes (e.g., crab shells, squid, and skeletons) or as solvents to process them in different shapes, such as films, hydrogels, nano/microparticles, and scaffolds. The resulting architectures can be applied in wound repair, bone regeneration, or gene and drug delivery systems. This review is focused on the recent research on the applications of ILs as processing platforms of biomaterials derived from marine polymers.