Hyaluronic acid

Written by J.A Dobado | Last Updated on April 22, 2024

What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural polymer and consists of repeating units of complex disaccharides. The structural unit of the polymer consists of a molecule of D-glucuronic acid attached to a molecule of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. It was first detected in the vitreous humor, and its name comes from joining the words hyaloid (vitreous) and uronic acid.

These two units (disaccharide) are joined by β(1→3) bonds and are repeated forming chains, each molecule containing up to 50000 disaccharides.

hyaluronic acid disaccharide D-glucuronic acid N-acetyl-D-glucosamine AEMOLEFTQBMNLQ-WAXACMCWBB OVRNDRQMDRJTHS-FMDGEEDCBL
3D Structure

Properties and uses

On the other hand, HA is found naturally in the human body, mainly as a component of the skin, synovial fluid, vitreous humor, lung, etc.

These HA polymers retain large amounts of water due to the large number of OH groups they present and adopt an extended dissolution conformation, thus functioning as a lubricant.