Over the last few decades, numerous bacterial exopolysaccharides have been extensively studied for their composition, structure, biosynthesis and functional properties, owing to their unique properties over traditional plant-derived gums and synthetic polysaccharides. They have been employed in food processing industries as rheology modifiers, gelling agents, in oil drilling and cement industries. But their full-fledged commercialization is yet to be achieved and their scope and possibilities in pharmaceutical field and optimized drug delivery are yet to be explored. The present review outlines, critically evaluates and summarizes the research outcomes on structure, solubility, solution behavior, rheological characterization, gelation mechanism and potential industrial and pharmaceutical applications of curdlan, polysaccharide 13140, Fucopol, levan, sphingans, succinoglycan and several other bacterial exopolysaccharides in their native form and also their derivatives. It also aims to identify and propose potential drug delivery systems where gelling and non gel-forming exopolysaccharides can be utilized successfully for development of stable, acceptable and effective dosage form.
Bacterial exopolysaccharide, gelation, rheology, curdlan, levan, sphingans