About Chitosan

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captura-de-pantalla-2016-11-06-a-las-11-50-00-p-m Chitosan 

Chitosan is a biopolymer derived from chitin (a naturally occurring polysaccharide widely distributed in nature, especially exoskeletons of some animals such as shrimps and insects) with a unique chemical structure as a linear polycation with a high charge density, hydrogen bonding, reactive hydroxyl and amino groups that help Chitosan display excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, physical stability, hemostatic activity and processability properties, which has attracted the attention of scientists and industries for its utilization in many applications of technical interest (Raafat & Sahl, 2009).

Chemically, Chitosan is a copolymer composed by β-(1→4)-2-acetamido-D-glucose and β-(1→4)-2-amino-D-glucose units (see figure below), where the relative amount of GlcNAc and D‐glucosamine (GlcN) monosacharides may vary giving different degrees of deacetylation (75–95%), molecular weights (MWs) (50–2000 kDa), viscosities, pKa values, etc (Raafat & Sahl, 2009).


Health Applications

Chitosan is widely used in health industry for diverse applications.

  • Tablet manufacture
  • Gel formation
  • Formation of films and membranes
  • Emulsion formations
  • Microspheres and microcapsules
  • Ophthalmic formulations
  • Transdermal drug delivery systems
  • Colon‐specific drug delivery
  • Targeted cancer therapy
  • Deodorant formulation
  • Hair and skin care products

Vaccine Delivery

  • Mucosal vaccination
  • Oral vaccination
  • Peptide drug delivery
  • Gene/nucleic acid delivery

Medical and Biomedical

  • Antacid and anti‐ulcerogenic
  • Hypoglycaemic
  • Antihypertensive
  • Antioxidant
  • Antitumour
  • Anticoagulant
  • Haemostatic
  • Spermicidal
  • Hypocholesterolaemic
  • Nutritional aid for weight loss
  • Products for wound treatment
  • Contact and bandage lenses
  • Dentistry and oral medicine
  • Anti‐inflammatory
  • Surgical sutures and implants
  • Immunopotentiator

Tissue engineering

  • Scaffold for tissue engineering applications
  • Artificial skin grafts

Other Applications

Besides the health industry, chitosan is used in many other industries.


  • Soil and plant revitalize
  • Preservative coating
  • Biofungicide

Food industries

  • Coatings for vegetables, fruits and fish
  • Edible antimicrobial films for food packaging
  • Food and beverage processing

Textile industries

  • Finishing of textiles
  • Novel fibres for textiles


  • Photographic paper
  • Paper finishing