The networking of users and developers of "blue biotechnology" is an important issue on the conference "Blue Biotechnology in Baltic Sea Region". On the event, FucoSan is presented in a poster
presentation and plans to establish further contacts in the Baltic Sea region. The conference is organised by the "Baltic Blue Biotech Alliance" project, which is funded by the Interreg Baltic
Sea Region. From the 22nd to 24th of August, about 120 participants from science and industry discuss the research field of "blue technology" in Greifswald.
For conference information: www.balticbluealliance-conference.eu
In order to effectively achieve the common goal of a successful Fucoidan characterisation, four PhD
students of the project partners Kiel University and University Medical Centre Schleswig-Holstein met in Kiel on the 19th of July in 2018.
The young scientists exchanged experiences, discussed the scientific problem and coordinated their further work processes. The first meeting is being followed by a regular exchange every two months.
During the joint project meeting on the 31st of May in Kiel, the scientists exchanged their initial
experiences gained by extracting and characterising fucoidans.
Beforehand, the project partners had produced several extracts out of different types of algae, provided by project partner CRM, partly harvested at own site, partly bought from external suppliers. The fucoidans of the six utilised algae differ in their chemical properties. Depending on origin, molecular size as well as the test system fucoidans can provoke opposite effects. Purification and exact characterisation therefore are essential. During these processes, the partners determine parameters like degree of sulphation, protein concentration, monosaccharide composition and molecular mass.
As a next step, the partners generate further extracts of algae in order to produce larger amounts of fucoidans and to verify the previous results.
The Project Advisory Group had its first meeting on 1 June. Its members praised the mature systematic and comprehensive approach of the project. They also provided valuable information on networking opportunities and the further course of action of the project partners. It became clear during the discussion that the FucoSan partners need partners from industry, especially for the production of medical products. Back row (from left to right):
The warmest April since the beginning of weather recording also caused the water temperatures to rise early this year. Some brown algae do not tolerate this well, they prefer the cooler water as they are originally native to the North Atlantic. In the cooler months also sufficient nutrients are available in the water, which are important for algae growth.
That is why project partner Verena Sandow from CRM had to harvest the sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima), which she cultivates in an algae farm, early and resettle it in tanks. The biologist took a harvesting boat to the Kiel Fjord and cut off 30 kg of fresh leaves. “We had to bring in the algae and mussel larvae, which now occur massively with the heat."
Now, they swim in the water tanks at CRM and wait to be processed for characterisation.
Project coordinator Professor Alexa Klettner was invited to the Makula Round Table in Rostov-on-Don, Russia to present the FucoSan project. The renowned Interyuna Eye Clinic brought together international experts from 18 to 20 May to discuss the topic of macular pathology and healing methods. Professor Klettner's lecture triggered a very positive feedback and a lively discussion about the use of fucoidans in ophthalmology.
During the winter semester, Professor Carsten Schultz and Daniel Laufs (M.Sc.), project partners of Kiel University, are offering a seminar for carrying out patent analysis elaborating on and interpreting long-term technology and market developments. The focus is on the sustainable use of maritime resources in the Baltic sea. During the seminar, another project partner, OceanBasis, is providing input in the field of cosmetics.
Junior professor Ferran Giones (SDU) introduced FucoSan to Norwegian scientists who examine the digestive effect of fucoidans for animals. The experts exchanged information about their research work and discussed, among othes, the extraction possibilities for bioactive substances. The FucoSan-partners were able to enrich the exchange with their supplementary expertise. Additionally, first ideas for a Fucoidan-network of the Nordic countries arised.
During the second „International Symposium of Marine Enzymes and Polysaccharides“ in Vietnam, Maria Mikkelsen (Technical University of Denmark) presented the project FucoSan. On the conference the latest developments in scientific and clinical research on maritime enzymes and polysaccharides were discussed.
As of now, FucoSan has an official logo. The project partners decided for a lettering that contains the project name as well as a brown alga and its habitat, the water.
The project acronym consists of two parts: “Fuco” stands for Fucoidan which is the active substance to be examined. “San” indicates the health-enhancing properties of Fucoidans.
The project partners met for the first joint project meeting in Odense and discussed about status and further procedure of the individual work packages. Providing brown algae and extracting fucoidans are key issues and required for the project’s success.
The trade journal marine drugs publishes an article written by the FucoSan partner University Medical Centre Schleswig-Holstein, Department of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery. The team around Professor Sabine Fuchs has investigated the properties of fucoidans and is looking at possible applications to limit angiogenesis, e.g. in osteosarcomas.
The first official project meeting marked the start for the cooperation of 50 project partners from eight research institutions and companies. The partners from Germany and Denmark work together for 36 months to achieve a common goal: Extracting fucoidans from brown algae and analysing them for application in medicine and cosmetics.
The Interreg Monitoring Commitee held a meeting in the Danish town Sorø and approved the project application of FucoSan. The Interreg program Deutschland-Danmark provides funding of 2.2 million Euros for the coming three years.