Hyaluronic acid, as a natural linear polysaccharide, has attracted researchers' attention from its initial detection and isolation from tissues in 1934 until the present day. Due to biocompatibility and a high biodegradation of hyaluronic acid, it finds wide application in bioengineering and biomedicine: from biorevitalizing skin cosmetics and endoprostheses of joint fluid to polymeric scaffolds and wound dressings. However, the main properties of aqueous polysaccharide solutions with different molecular weights are different. Moreover, the therapeutic effect of hyaluronic acid-based preparations directly depends on the molecular weight of the biopolymer. The present review collects the information about relations between the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid and its original properties. Particular emphasis is placed on the structural, physical and physico-chemical properties of hyaluronic acid in water solutions, as well as their degradability.
Keywords: biocompatibility; degradability; hyaluronic acid; molecular weight; receptors; structure; viscosity; water polymer solution.