Background: Dextran (DX) is a natural polysaccharide produced in the laboratory by fermentation of
sucrose under the effect of the enzyme DX sucrase (1,6-α-D-glucan-α- glucosyltransferase). After harvesting
and purification DX is subjected to cracking and separation to obtain the desired molecular weight. Methods: The
hydroxyl groups present in DX offer many sites for derivatization allowing the production of functionalized glycoconjugates
biocompatible compound. DX and its derivatives are getting increased attention for use in core decoration
or as carriers in novel drug delivery systems. This includes, among others, ion-pairing, self-aggregate, protein
and drug conjugates. DX carriers and camouflaged particles will be dealt with in this review to give emphasis on
the great versatility of this natural biocompatible polysaccharide. Conclusion: With the continuous development in
the area of drug delivery, we believe that the unique properties of this versatile nanocarrier platform will elect it as
one of the cornerstones of safe nanodelivery systems.
Keywords: Dextran, amphiphiles, conjugates, ion pairing, ionic complexation, layer-by-layer, stabilizer, self-assembly.
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