Purification and biocompatibility of fermented hyaluronic acid for its applications to biomaterials

Sungchul Choi, Woncheol Choi, Sekweon Kim, Su Yeon Lee, Insup Noh, Chan Wha Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Hyaluronic acid (HA) is of importance due to its diverse applications in pharmaceuticals and medical devices such as dermal filler, adhesion barriers, carrier for cells and bioactive molecules as well as scaffold biomaterials for tissue engineering. Evaluations of purification and biocompatibility of HA are required for its applications to biomaterials. Results: After synthesizing HA by fermentation of streptococcus zooepidemicus for 25 hr, extensively purification of the fermented broth was performed to remove impurities using a filtration process for insoluble components and cells, and diverse adsorbents for soluble impurities. Its in vitro biocompatibility has been evaluated by measurement of cell counting and assay of cell live and dead. 60% yield of white HA powder was obtained, having 15-17 dL/g intrinsic viscosity with a molecular weight of approximately 1,000 kDa. While low molecular weight impurities and insoluble impurities were successfully removed using a ultrafiltration membrane with 50 KDa molecular weight cut, endotoxins, high molecular weight proteins and nucleic acids were removed from the broth by employing adsorbents such as alumina and activated carbons. Alumina showed the best results for the removal of endotoxins, all of the activated carbons were very effective in the removal of high molecular weight proteins and nucleic acids. The purified HA solution showed excellent cell compatibility with no cell damages as observed by both measurement of cell proliferation and observation of cell viability. Conclusions: We obtained high molecular weight HA with excellent biocompatibility as judged by both measurement of cell proliferation and viability, indicating high possibility of its applications to biomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalBiomaterials Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Activated carbon
  • Adsorption
  • Biomaterials
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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