Bacterial exopolysaccharides: Functionality and prospects

Uchechukwu U. Nwodo, Ezekiel Green, Anthony I. Okoh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

479 Citations (Scopus)


Diverse structural, functional and valuable polysaccharides are synthesized by bacteria of all taxa and secreted into the external environment. These polysaccharides are referred to as exopolysaccharides and they may either be homopolymeric or heteropolymeric in composition and of diverse high molecular weights (10 to 1000 kDa). The material properties of exopolysaccharides have revolutionized the industrial and medical sectors due to their retinue of functional applications and prospects. These applications have been extensive in areas such as pharmacological, nutraceutical, functional food, cosmeceutical, herbicides and insecticides among others, while prospects includes uses as anticoagulant, antithrombotic, immunomodulation, anticancer and as bioflocculants. Due to the extensive applications of bacterial exopolysaccharides, this overview provides basic information on their physiologic and morphologic functions as well as their applications and prospects in the medical and industrial sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14002-14015
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigenicity
  • Biopolymers
  • Exopolysaccharides
  • Extracellular
  • Glycocongugates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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