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Polysaccharides are formed by joining monosaccharides into polymeric carbohydrate structures. These monosaccharides are linked with glycosidic bonds. Polysaccharides have two main forms and uses: structural and storage. Important examples of these are starch and glycogen (storage), and cellulose and chitin (structural). Polysaccharides must be more than about ten monosaccharides in length but have no real limit to their length, with some examples consisting of hundreds of sugar units. There is however a general formula that can be used to show the construction of the polysaccharide. As most polysacchardies are formed using a backbone of six-carbon monosaccharides, the general formula is (C6H10O5)n, where n is the unknown number and therefore the length of the chain [1].


  1. Champe PC, Harvey RA, Ferrier DR. (2008)Biochemistry, 4th edition; Philadelphia; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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