Pullulan in pharmaceutics

Pullulan in pharmaceutics
Pullulan in pharmaceutics
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Pullulan is a natural polysaccharide, a polymer synthesized by microorganisms such as algae and bacteria. Pullulan has wide applications in pharmaceuticals and food industry.

Pullulan has a variety of biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor effects. In recent years, people have conducted more and more in-depth research on pullulan, and a variety of pullulan with potential medicinal value has been discovered.

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This article will introduce the chemical structure, biological activity and application of pullulan.

Pullulan parameters

1. Chemical Structure

Pullulan is a linear polysaccharide consisting of repeating units of maltotriose (three glucose molecules) linked by α-(1→6) glycosidic bonds.

The average molecular weight of pullulan typically ranges from 200,000 to 2,000,000 Daltons.

2. Physical Properties

Pullulan is a white to off-white, odorless, and tasteless powder.

It is soluble in water, forming clear, viscous solutions.

Pullulan solutions exhibit excellent film-forming properties, forming flexible and transparent films upon drying.

3. Biocompatibility and Biodegradability

Pullulan is considered biocompatible, meaning it is well-tolerated by living organisms without eliciting significant adverse reactions.

It is biodegradable, meaning it can be broken down into simpler, non-toxic compounds through enzymatic processes in the body or in the environment.

4. Regulatory Status

Pullulan is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

It is approved for use as a food additive and pharmaceutical excipient in many countries worldwide.

5. Stability and Storage

Pullulan is stable under normal storage conditions, provided it is protected from excessive heat, moisture, and light.

Properly stored pullulan retains its physicochemical properties and functionality over extended periods.

Understanding these basic parameters of pullulan is essential for its successful utilization in various applications, particularly in pharmaceutics, where its unique properties contribute to the development of innovative drug delivery systems and formulations.


1.Chemical structure

Pullulan is a high molecular polymer composed of multiple sugar molecules connected by glycosidic bonds. Its chemical structure is mainly composed of monosaccharide units such as glucose, galactose, and mannose. The molecular weight of pullulan is usually relatively large, generally ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands.

The chemical structure of pullulan affects its biological activity. Pullulan from different sources has different chemical structures and biological activities, so detailed analysis and identification are required in research and applications.

2. Biological activity

Pullulan has a variety of biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor effects. Here are some common biological activities:

3. Anti-inflammatory effect

Pullulan has significant anti-inflammatory activity and can inhibit inflammatory responses and the production of related inflammatory mediators. Inflammation is the basis of many diseases, such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc., and the anti-inflammatory effects of pullulan can help improve the symptoms of these diseases.

4. Antioxidant effect

Pullulan has strong antioxidant activity, which can scavenge free radicals and reduce oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is an important cause of many diseases and aging, and the antioxidant effects of pullulan help protect cells from oxidative damage.

5. Anti-tumor effect

Pullulan can inhibit the growth and spread of tumor cells and induce apoptosis of tumor cells. Research shows that pullulan can be used as a potential anti-tumor drug and has broad application prospects.

Pullulan VS Gelatin

Compared with traditional gelatin capsules, pullulan capsules have the advantages of wide applicability, no risk of cross-linking reaction and high stability:

  • ①The oxygen permeability of pullulan capsules is about 1/8 of gelatin capsules and 1/300 of HPMC capsules, which can effectively protect the contents from oxidation and extend the storage period;

  • ②The transparency is equivalent to that of animal capsules, and the filling content is clearly visible;

  • ③Does not contain animal protein and fat, is not easy to breed microorganisms, and has stable quality;

  • ④ Does not contain animal ingredients, and has no hidden concerns about zoonotic infectious diseases such as mad cow disease and foot-and-mouth disease;

  • ⑤Made from natural plant-based raw materials, there are no religious or vegetarian restrictions.

Pullulan is a source of soluble fiber. Compared with gelatin, the drug release rate is relatively stable and the individual differences are small. In terms of storage conditions, according to tests, pullulan polysaccharide plant capsules are almost not brittle in low-humidity environments, and the capsule shell properties remain stable under high temperatures. Gelatin capsules are prone to water loss, hardening or brittleness under high temperature and low humidity conditions, and are highly dependent on the temperature, humidity and packaging materials of the storage environment. In view of the large temperature difference between the north and south of my country and the different storage conditions of transportation and retail terminals, pullulan polysaccharide plant capsules undoubtedly provide a solution for some pharmaceutical factories and health care product companies.

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Name: Louis        time:2024-03-12 11:39:19
We need 10 tons of pullulan every year.

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