Fucoidans are a complex group of sulphated polysaccharides found in brown algae. As they have far-reaching biological activities, they are increasingly regarded as promising candidates for applications in the fields of well-being, health and medicine. Brown algae are also found in the Baltic Sea, but the knowledge of the content and composition of their fucoidans is still low. Despite intensive international Fucoidan research over the last 20 years, there are only a few Fucoidan products and no medicines available. With the following project activities, FucoSan will contribute to learning more about the brown algae and its benefits for various research fields.

Collecting and cultivating algae

The composition of the brown algae depends on various factors such as the location of the algae, the environmental conditions to which they were exposed or the time of harvesting. Molecular weight, glycan structure and Fucoid content may vary. In order to be able to use the natural resource for the project, existing algae are first collected and prepared for further processing. In addition, strategies are being developed to cultivate brown algae for commercial use.

Extracting and characterising Fucoidans

Fucoidan is to be standardised and extracted from brown algae, chemically characterized and the bioactivity is to be investigated. The test results are recorded in a common knowledge database. The database is used to determine the Fucoidans from which the pilot products originate.

Developing medical and cosmetic products

During the project, three test products will be developed that exploit the mode of action of Fucoidan. The pilots are developed in the following areas:

  • Ophthalmology (Age-related macular degeneration - AMD)
  • Tissue engineering
  • Cosmetics

Developing business models

Within the scope of the project, business models for the knowledge base and the products are developed and a technology roadmap is created. Furthermore, a concept for the development of a value-added chain around the use of Fucoidane is planned.