Volume 91 Issue 9 | p. 6 | Letters
Issue Date: March 4, 2013

Intriguing Alginates

Department: Letters

Two articles in C&EN have prompted me to write: the science concentrate “Nanofix for a Broken Heart” (Aug. 13, 2012, page 32) and the news story “Soft, Stretchy, and Tough” (Sept. 10, 2012, page 5). I apologize for the delay in my correspondence; however, you are probably wondering why I am writing to C&EN at all. It has to do with the multifaceted application range of alginates.

The science concentrate briefly describes the interesting work of Yi-Dong Lin et al. on the use of a nanofiber scaffold treated with specific growth hormone(s) to treat cardiovascular disease (Sci. Transl. Med., DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003841). More important, the news story on alginates reminded me again of Lin’s research and previous work on the use of alginates in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, such as those by Yanmin Yang and me (NMR Biomed., DOI: 10.1002/nbm.1736; Magn. Reson. Imaging,DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2009.01.023).

These articles suggest the tremendous potential uses for alginates, from the food industry to pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. I suspect that the future will hold more interesting applications for this intriguing biomaterial that is available in large quantities from our oceans.

Marco L. H. Gruwel
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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