Cyanoflan: A cyanobacterial sulfated carbohydrate polymer with emulsifying properties


The extracellular polysaccharides produced by cyanobacteria have distinctive characteristics that make them promising for applications ranging from bioremediation to biomedicine. In this study, a sulfated polysaccharide produced by a marine cyanobacterial strain and named cyanoflan was characterized in terms of morphology, chemical composition, and rheological and emulsifying properties. Cyanoflan has a 71 % carbohydrate content, with 11 % of sulfated residues, while the protein account for 4 % of dry weight. The glycosidic-substitution analysis revealed a highly branched complex chemical structure with a large number of sugar residues. The cyanoflan high molecular mass fractions (above 1 MDa) and entangled structure is consistent with its high apparent viscosity in aqueous solutions and high emulsifying activity. It showed to be a typical non-Newtonian fluid with pseudoplastic behavior. Altogether, these results confirm that cyanoflan is a versatile carbohydrate polymer that can be used in different biotechnological applications, such as emulsifying/thickening agent in food or cosmetic industries.



subject category

Chemistry; Polymer Science


Mota, R; Vidal, R; Pandeirada, C; Flores, C; Adessi, A; De Philippis, R; Nunes, C; Coimbra, MA; Tamagnini, P

our authors


The authors acknowledge Daniela Silva and Rui Rocha from Centro de Materiais da Universidade do Porto (CEMUP), Porto, Portugal, for technical assistance with SEM-EDX and AFM, and the support of the i3S Scientific Platform BioSciences Screening, member of the national infrastructure PPBI - Portuguese Platform of Bioimaging (PPBI-POCI-01-0145-FEDER-022122).

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