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Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(5), 1567-1636; doi:10.3390/md8051567
Review

Application of Spectroscopic Methods for Structural Analysis of Chitin and Chitosan

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Received: 8 March 2010 / Revised: 30 March 2010 / Accepted: 27 April 2010 / Published: 29 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Chitin and Chitosan)

Abstract

Chitin, the second most important natural polymer in the world, and its N-deacetylated derivative chitosan, have been identified as versatile biopolymers for a broad range of applications in medicine, agriculture and the food industry. Two of the main reasons for this are firstly the unique chemical, physicochemical and biological properties of chitin and chitosan, and secondly the unlimited supply of raw materials for their production. These polymers exhibit widely differing physicochemical properties depending on the chitin source and the conditions of chitosan production. The presence of reactive functional groups as well as the polysaccharide nature of these biopolymers enables them to undergo diverse chemical modifications. A complete chemical and physicochemical characterization of chitin, chitosan and their derivatives is not possible without using spectroscopic techniques. This review focuses on the application of spectroscopic methods for the structural analysis of these compounds.
Keywords: chitin; chitosan; chemical modification; physicochemical parameters; structural analysis using spectroscopic techniques chitin; chitosan; chemical modification; physicochemical parameters; structural analysis using spectroscopic techniques
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.

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Kumirska, J.; Czerwicka, M.; Kaczyński, Z.; Bychowska, A.; Brzozowski, K.; Thöming, J.; Stepnowski, P. Application of Spectroscopic Methods for Structural Analysis of Chitin and Chitosan. Mar. Drugs 2010, 8, 1567-1636.

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