Sara Sattin, Anna Bernard
Microbial adhesion is an essential step in infection and is mediated primarily by protein–carbohydrate interactions. Antagonists of such interactions have become a promising target for anti-adhesive therapy in several infective diseases. Monovalent protein–sugar interactions are often weak, and most successful anti-adhesive materials consist of multivalent glycoconjugates.
Although often very effective in hampering microbial adhesion, natural epitopes often show limited resistance to enzymatic degradation. The use of carbohydrate mimics (glycomimetics) as a replacement for natural sugars potentially allows higher metabolic stability and also higher selectivity towards the desired protein target.
In this review we describe the state of the art in the design and synthesis of glycoconjugates and glycomimetics employed for the construction of anti-adhesive biomaterials.
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