A new biopolymer for medical and cosmetic applications by bacterial fermentation

Heparosan is a member of the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) family whose structure is very close to hyaluronan
The similar chemical structure between heparosan and hyaluronan allow chemical modification and reticulations of heparosan, as is often done with hyaluronan. Heparosan has the same monosaccharide component sugars as hyaluronan but different glycosidic bonds (the β1,3 bond between the glucuronic acid and the N-acetylglucosamine is replaced by an α1,4 bond).

Heparosan is perfectly biocompatible and stealthy
All heparan sulphate and heparin chains (essential sugar molecules in mammals) originate from heparosan. Even after modification, stretches of heparosan still naturally exist in heparan sulfate polymers. The immune system does recognize heparosan and thus, does not create antibodies.

Stability in vivo enhance comparable to Hyaluronan

The body produces no extracellular enzymes that degrade heparosan and there are no known receptors or binding proteins for heparosan.

Heparosan has the physical and chemical characteristics to make a variety of superior tissue engineering biomaterials, gels and scaffolds.


  • Higher moisture retention
  • No toxic effects
  • Non-immunogenic
  • No antibodies against or receptors for heparosan are produced
  • Longer residence time of the in the body
  • No  extracellular   degradative  enzymes  against  heparosan  are produced
  • Safer absorption by the body
  • No accumulation of breakdown products
  • Simple chemistry allows for easily produced gels

Heparosan, having potentially increased lifetime and water retention capability over existing biomaterials, shows promise for exciting applications as

  • Dermal filler
  • Drug Delivery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Medical device coating
  • Biomaterials
  • Orthopedics

Heparosan has been developed in collaboration with Heparinex, L.L.C.
Methods of production and uses of this material are covered by issued and pending US and international patents.