Background: The big wave of the successes in glycobiology is also embracing the marine domain. The
major inherent structural complexity of carbohydrate molecules greater than that of proteins and
nucleic acids, adds challenges for the control of pharmaceutical preparations based on such complex
biomolecules. More effort is needed to overcome current limitations for the use of marine
polysaccharides in pharmaceutics.
Methods: From an overview of literature, a foresight is possible for the next decade, related to an
expected increase of studies about marine oligosaccharides. These topics will be covered in this review
covering the recent literature related to the subject.
Results: Scientific interest for marine oligosaccharides is spread worldwide: in western countries, and recently especially
in Europe, the research funding Horizon 2020 programs, with the starting enthusiasm focused on marine domain, will
make possible big research efforts to unlock biotechnological potential of the sea and oceans. In the eastern countries
traditional interests for marine biomasses in food technology are in a renewing era with discovery of therapeutic potential
of constituent carbohydrate molecules.
Conclusion: The situation analyzed is multifaceted including different elements such as sustainable supply of marine
oligosaccharides by specific and high-yield enzymatic hydrolysis, new enabling methodologies for straightforward
purification techniques, fine structural detail information including secondary structures, activity assay, mechanism(s) of
action of these molecules, etc. Flourishing of molecular technologies suitable for interdisciplinary study of these
molecules will be possible.