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Marigot Ltd, University College Dublin and Cardiff University

Natural materials are increasingly investigated for their potential to be used in medical applications. Aquamin, by Marigot Ltd., is a marine multimineral complex, providing bioactive calcium, magnesium and 72 other trace marine minerals, for the fortification of food, beverage and supplement products. Aquamin is derived from 100% seaweed, which absorbs the trace minerals from the surrounding seawater. This form of absorption, coupled with Aquamin’s unique structure, results in a mineral-rich product that is neutral tasting, free of chalky texture and easily absorbed by the human body. There is a body of clinical research supporting Aquamin`s benefits in relation to bone health, anti-inflammatory activity, and digestive health. Further research into how Aquamin particles bring these health benefits will contribute toward the material`s potential future pharmaceutical use.

Understanding how natural materials interact with living systems is of particular interest to CALIN researchers at the Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI), University College Dublin who have long-standing expertise in working with well-defined synthetic nanoparticles and investigating their biological functions. The initial purpose of the collaboration is to characterise the materials used and being developed by Marigot Ltd in such a way that a preliminary file could be developed for marketing and possibly various regulatory approvals.

Conducted at CBNI by PhD candidate Ms Vanya Petseva under the supervision of Prof Kenneth A. Dawson, in collaboration with Prof Arwyn Tomos Jones’s group at Cardiff University, this cross-border R&D project began by an in-depth characterisation of physical and chemical properties of Aquamin. Data gathered from this initial characterisation will inform subsequent phases of research that will focus on specific biological testing for Aquamin’s functional health impacts.

This research focuses on understanding the physical and chemical properties of Aquamin, a natural material, and how those properties affect its behaviour in living systems, providing a significant opportunity for future design of new, tunable products, specifically targeting symptom reduction in diseases. Following from this research there could be potential to enhance Aquamin’s health benefits, thereby adding value to the product and improving health outcomes for the customers.

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