Biomaterials and Bioactive Natural Products from Marine Invertebrates: From Basic Research to Innovative Applications

Giovanna Romano, Mariana Almeida, Ana Varela Coelho, Adele Cutignano, Luis G. Gonçalves, Espen Hansen, Denis Khnykin, Tali Mass, Andreja Ramšak, Miguel S. Rocha, Tiago H. Silva, Michela Sugni, Loriano Ballarin, Anne Marie Genevière

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aquatic invertebrates are a major source of biomaterials and bioactive natural products that can find applications as pharmaceutics, nutraceutics, cosmetics, antibiotics, antifouling products and biomaterials. Symbiotic microorganisms are often the real producers of many secondary metabolites initially isolated from marine invertebrates; however, a certain number of them are actually synthesized by the macro-organisms. In this review, we analysed the literature of the years 2010–2019 on natural products (bioactive molecules and biomaterials) from the main phyla of marine invertebrates explored so far, including sponges, cnidarians, molluscs, echinoderms and ascidians, and present relevant examples of natural products of interest to public and private stakeholders. We also describe omics tools that have been more relevant in identifying and understanding mechanisms and processes underlying the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in marine invertebrates. Since there is increasing attention on finding new solutions for a sustainable large-scale supply of bioactive compounds, we propose that a possible improvement in the biodiscovery pipeline might also come from the study and utilization of aquatic invertebrate stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number219
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number4
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Animals
  • Aquatic Organisms/metabolism
  • Biocompatible Materials/metabolism
  • Biological Products/metabolism
  • Echinodermata
  • Invertebrates/metabolism
  • Marine Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Biomaterials and Bioactive Natural Products from Marine Invertebrates: From Basic Research to Innovative Applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this