Extraction of bioactive polysaccharide from Ulva prolifera biomass waste toward potential biomedical application

Int J Biol Macromol. 2023 Apr 30:235:123852. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2023.123852. Epub 2023 Mar 3.


Ulva prolifera macroalgae blooming caused by water eutrophication seriously affects the marine ecological environment. Exploring an efficient approach to turning algae biomass waste into high-value-added products is significant. The present work aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of the bioactive polysaccharide extraction from Ulva prolifera and to evaluate its potential biomedical application. A short autoclave process was proposed and optimized using the response surface methodology to extract Ulva polysaccharides (UP) with high molar mass. Our results indicated that UP with high molar mass (9.17 × 105 g/mol) and competitive radical scavenging activity (up to 53.4 %) could be effectively extracted with the assistance of Na2CO3 (1.3 %, wt.) at a solid-liquid ratio of 1/10 in 26 min. The obtained UP mainly composes of galactose (9.4 %), glucose (73.1 %), xylose (9.6 %), and mannose (4.7 %). The biocompatibility of the UP and its potential application as a bioactive ingredient in 3D cell culture has been evaluated and confirmed by confocal laser scanning microscopy and fluorescence microscope imaging inspection. This work demonstrated the feasibility of extracting bioactive sulfated polysaccharides with potential applications in biomedicine from biomass waste. Meanwhile, this work also provided an alternative solution to deal with the environmental challenges incurred by algae blooming worldwide.

Keywords: 3D cell culture; Bioactive polysaccharides; Biomass waste.

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Glucose
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Seaweed*
  • Ulva*


  • Polysaccharides
  • Glucose