Polysaccharides have attractive advantages for using in the field of pharmaceutics. In most cases, they are non
toxic, biocompatible and plentiful. The presence of hydroxyl groups (always) and carboxylic acid groups (sometimes)
permits crosslinking of the chains and obtaining hydrogels. These hydrogels present interesting swelling and mechanical
properties. They have the capacity to entrap active compounds such as drugs and release them through modifications of
the solvation conditions vias pH or ionic strength changes. This review deals with polysaccharide hydrogels obtained by
the formation of covalent bounds between polymeric chains. We have focused our attention on systems with an anionic
character. These charges are due to the presence of acidic functions on the polysaccharide backbone or are brought by the
crosslinking agent. The anionic character dependents on the ionic strength and pH. We discuss the synthesis of these hydrogels.
After a short presentation of a few polysaccharides, we describe the different crosslinking agents and their action
mode. Applications in drug delivery are discussed along.
Keywords: Anionic polysaccharide, hydrogel, drug delivery, crosslinking agent, biomedical implants, pseudogels, crosslinking agent, hydrophilicity, regenerative medicine, Heparin, Carboxymethylation, Hyaluronic acid, antibody, Doxorubicin, chondroitin sulfate hydrogels
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