Bioact Mater. 2023 Aug 10;31:87-118. doi: 10.1016/j.bioactmat.2023.08.002. eCollection 2024 Jan.
Heparin is a negatively charged polysaccharide with various chain lengths and a hydrophilic backbone. Due to its fascinating chemical and physical properties, nontoxicity, biocompatibility, and biodegradability, heparin has been extensively used in different fields of medicine, such as cardiovascular and hematology. This review highlights recent and future advancements in designing materials based on heparin for various biomedical applications. The physicochemical and mechanical properties, biocompatibility, toxicity, and biodegradability of heparin are discussed. In addition, the applications of heparin-based materials in various biomedical fields, such as drug/gene delivery, tissue engineering, cancer therapy, and biosensors, are reviewed. Finally, challenges, opportunities, and future perspectives in preparing heparin-based materials are summarized.