What Are Heparins?

25 April 2022
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Heparin, also known as standard heparin or unfractionated heparin, is a linear polysaccharide consisting of 1-4 linked disaccharide repeat units of uronic acid and glucosamine residues. Heparin was discovered nearly 100 years ago and has been used clinically as a blood anticoagulant since 1935. This is due to its ability to bind to the antithrombin(serine protease inhibitor), causing the inhibitor to inactivate thrombin.

How to Get Heparin?

Heparin is a naturally occurring polysaccharide which contains a highly sulfated glycosaminoglycan framework. It is found in animal tissues in form of heparin sulphate. Unfractionated heparins are usually isolated from natural tissues such as pig intestine or bovine lung, with an average molecular weight of about 15 kDa and a high degree of heterogeneity in chemical structure and molecular weight.

Heparin Based/Modified Nanoparticles?

Over the past few decades, nanotechnology has had a major impact on the development of drug delivery systems. Many types of nanoparticles have been developed, such as lipid-based carriers, polymeric nanostructures (including polymer-drug conjugates, block copolymer micelles, and nanogels), and inorganic nanoparticles.

With the understanding and utilization of the biological properties of heparin, heparin-based/modified nanoparticles have received increasing attention due to their advantages brought by their nanoscale size and biological activity.

Heparin has been bound to the surface of metal nanoparticles such as iron oxide and gold nanoparticles to prevent self-aggregation, improve stability and increase cellular uptake, as well as to provide targeted detection and induce apoptosis. For heparin-functionalized polymer nanoparticles, heparin has been used to coat the surface of nanoparticles and can also be used as a building block for nanoparticles. As heparin-protein interactions and antitumor effects continue to receive attention, heparin/modified polymer nanoparticles have been extensively studied as therapeutic delivery vehicles in the fields of tissue engineering and cancer therapy.

Heparin-based nanoparticles have unique properties in various biomedical applications, which show great potential for biocompatibility and therapeutic efficacy, and may be used in a variety of applications including growth factor delivery, cell carriers, and cancer therapy.

Heparins for Your Research?

AS an established drug delivery company providing customized solutions for developing and producing new, biocompatible drug delivery systems, CD Bioparticles now offers various Heparins for global researchers, including the Heparin Biotin (Catalog: CDHA381), Heparin Amine(Catalog: CDHA380) and Heparin Thiol (Catalog: CDHA385). Scientists can choose Heparins at CD Bioparticles by molecular weight such as 27 kDa, or by functional groups such as Biotin, Amine and Thiol. For instance, Heparin Biotin (Catalog: CDHA381) is the lyophilized powder that heparin is labeled with biotin. These products are for laboratory research use only, and may not be used as drugs, agricultural or pesticidal products, food additives or household chemicals.


1. Liang Y, Kiick KL. Heparin-functionalized polymeric biomaterials in tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. Acta biomaterialia. 2014. 1588-600.
2. Mishra, Nidhi, Vinod K. Tiwari, et al. Recent trends and challenges on carbohydrate-based molecular scaffolding: general consideration toward impact of carbohydrates in drug discovery and development. Carbohydrates in Drug Discovery and Development. Elsevier, 2020. 1-69.

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