Cosmetic, Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Applications of Fish Gelatin/Hydrolysates

Mar Drugs. 2021 Mar 8;19(3):145. doi: 10.3390/md19030145.


There are several reviews that separately cover different aspects of fish gelatin including its preparation, characteristics, modifications, and applications. Its packaging application in food industry is extensively covered but other applications are not covered or covered alongside with those of collagen. This review is comprehensive, specific to fish gelatin/hydrolysate and cites recent research. It covers cosmetic applications, intrinsic activities, and biomedical applications in wound dressing and wound healing, gene therapy, tissue engineering, implants, and bone substitutes. It also covers its pharmaceutical applications including manufacturing of capsules, coating of microparticles/oils, coating of tablets, stabilization of emulsions and drug delivery (microspheres, nanospheres, scaffolds, microneedles, and hydrogels). The main outcomes are that fish gelatin is immunologically safe, protects from the possibility of transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy and foot and mouth diseases, has an economic and environmental benefits, and may be suitable for those that practice religious-based food restrictions, i.e., people of Muslim, Jewish and Hindu faiths. It has unique rheological properties, making it more suitable for certain applications than mammalian gelatins. It can be easily modified to enhance its mechanical properties. However, extensive research is still needed to characterize gelatin hydrolysates, elucidate the Structure Activity Relationship (SAR), and formulate them into dosage forms. Additionally, expansion into cosmetic applications and drug delivery is needed.

Keywords: biomedical applications; cosmetic applications; extraction; fish gelatin/hydrolysate; pharmaceutical applications; properties; sources.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cosmetics
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Fish Proteins / chemistry*
  • Gelatin / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Protein Hydrolysates / chemistry*
  • Rheology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Cosmetics
  • Fish Proteins
  • Protein Hydrolysates
  • Gelatin