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Recent Advancements in Lignin Valorization and Biomedical Applications: A Patent Review


Vandana Prasad, Lubna Siddiqui, Pawan Kumar Mishra, Adam Ekielski and Sushama Talegaonkar*   Pages 1 - 21 ( 21 )


Background: Synthetic polymers present disadvantages such as high cost, limited availability, safety concerns, environmental hazards and overtime accumulation in body. Lignin, an aromatic biopolymer, is highly abundant and offers various advantages including cost effectiveness, biocompatibility and biodegradability. It also possesses various pharmacological activities including antioxidant, antibacterial, anticancer and UV protection, thus lignin has become a popular biopolymer in recent years and is no more considered as bio-waste rather an extensive research is been carried out on developing it as drug carrier. Lignin also has non-biomedical applications including dispersing agents, surfactants, detergent/cleaning agents, energy storage, etc.

Methods: This review compiles patents granted on production of technical lignin, different lignin therapeutic carriers and its biomedical and non-biomedical applications. The literature is collected from recent years including both articles as well as patents and is carefully analyzed and compiled in an easy to comprehend pattern for guiding future research.

Results: The reviewed patents and articles highlighted the advancement made in lignin isolation and valorization. Numerous lignin nanoformulations as drug delivery agents or as standalone entities with various pharmacological actions like antibacterial, antioxidant or UV protectant have been reported. As well as industrial applications of lignin as adhesives, insulators or supercapacitors have also made lignin a biopolymer of choice.

Conclusion: Lignin being a bio-inspired polymer has huge potential in commercial applications. New methods of lignin isolation from lignocellulosic biomass including physical pretreatments, solvent fraction, and chemical and biological pretreatment have been widely patented. Several micro/nano lignin formulations with improved and controllable reactivity like nanocontainers, nanocapsules, nanoparticles have also been reported recently. Also various pharmacological properties of lignin have also been explored, thus valorization of lignin is a hot topic of hour.


Lignin, nanoformulations, valorization, lignin nanoparticles, UV protectant, antioxidant, anticancer.


Department of Pharmaceutics, Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, New Delhi, Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno, Brno, Department of Production Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Science, Warsaw, Department of Pharmaceutics, Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, New Delhi

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