Hyaluronic acid – a water-storing biopolymer
In addition to cellulose, starch and chitosan, more and more focus is being placed on the polysaccharide hyaluronic acid for special medical and cosmetic applications. Because of its rheological properties and biocompatibility, hyaluronic acid is particularly suitable as a substitute for viscoelastic body fluids in orthopedics and ophthalmology. Hyaluronic acid has been used for awhile to treat joints damaged by arthritis and “dry” eyes. Other application possibilities for hyaluronic acid and its derivatives are in treating urinary incontinence, as a soft tissue substitute, as a growth support in cell cultivation, for drug release (drug delivery) and as an anti-aging compound.