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Mar. Drugs 2014, 12(11), 5619-5642; doi:10.3390/md12115619

Preparation of Chitosan Nanocompositeswith a Macroporous Structure by Unidirectional Freezing and Subsequent Freeze-Drying

Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), (Materials Science Institute of Madrid, Spanish National Research Counsil), Cantoblanco 28049, Madrid, Spain
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Received: 11 October 2014 / Revised: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 13 November 2014 / Published: 24 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Marine Chitin and Chitosan)
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Abstract

Chitosan is the N-deacetylated derivative of chitin, a naturally abundant mucopolysaccharide that consists of 2-acetamido-2-deoxy-β-d-glucose through a β (1→4) linkage and is found in nature as the supporting material of crustaceans, insects, etc. Chitosan has been strongly recommended as a suitable functional material because of its excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, and adsorption properties. Boosting all these excellent properties to obtain unprecedented performances requires the core competences of materials chemists to design and develop novel processing strategies that ultimately allow tailoring the structure and/or the composition of the resulting chitosan-based materials. For instance, the preparation of macroporous materials is challenging in catalysis, biocatalysis and biomedicine, because the resulting materials will offer a desirable combination of high internal reactive surface area and straightforward molecular transport through broad “highways” leading to such a surface. Moreover, chitosan-based composites made of two or more distinct components will produce structural or functional properties not present in materials composed of one single component. Our group has been working lately on cryogenic processes based on the unidirectional freezing of water slurries and/or hydrogels, the subsequent freeze-drying of which produce macroporous materials with a well-patterned structure. We have applied this process to different gels and colloidal suspensions of inorganic, organic, and hybrid materials. In this review, we will describe the application of the process to chitosan solutions and gels typically containing a second component (e.g., metal and ceramic nanoparticles, or carbon nanotubes) for the formation of chitosan nanocomposites with a macroporous structure. We will also discuss the role played by this tailored composition and structure in the ultimate performance of these materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; carbon nanotubes; nanocomposites; scaffolds; cryogels; mineralization; electrodeposition; drug delivery; tissue engineering; fuel cells chitosan; carbon nanotubes; nanocomposites; scaffolds; cryogels; mineralization; electrodeposition; drug delivery; tissue engineering; fuel cells
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Aranaz, I.; Gutiérrez, M.C.; Ferrer, M.L.; del Monte, F. Preparation of Chitosan Nanocompositeswith a Macroporous Structure by Unidirectional Freezing and Subsequent Freeze-Drying. Mar. Drugs 2014, 12, 5619-5642.

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