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Mar. Drugs 2011, 9(9), 1510-1533; doi:10.3390/md9091510
Review

Biomedical Exploitation of Chitin and Chitosan via Mechano-Chemical Disassembly, Electrospinning, Dissolution in Imidazolium Ionic Liquids, and Supercritical Drying

Received: 26 July 2011; in revised form: 28 August 2011 / Accepted: 31 August 2011 / Published: 9 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Polysaccharides)
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Abstract: Recently developed technology permits to optimize simultaneously surface area, porosity, density, rigidity and surface morphology of chitin-derived materials of biomedical interest. Safe and ecofriendly disassembly of chitin has superseded the dangerous acid hydrolysis and provides higher yields and scaling-up possibilities: the chitosan nanofibrils are finding applications in reinforced bone scaffolds and composite dressings for dermal wounds. Electrospun chitosan nanofibers, in the form of biocompatible thin mats and non-wovens, are being actively studied: composites of gelatin + chitosan + polyurethane have been proposed for cardiac valves and for nerve conduits; fibers are also manufactured from electrospun particles that self-assemble during subsequent freeze-drying. Ionic liquids (salts of alkylated imidazolium) are suitable as non-aqueous solvents that permit desirable reactions to occur for drug delivery purposes. Gel drying with supercritical CO2 leads to structures most similar to the extracellular matrix, even when the chitosan is crosslinked, or in combination with metal oxides of interest in orthopedics.
Keywords: chitin; chitosan; electrospinning; ionic liquids; nanofibrils; supercritical carbon dioxide chitin; chitosan; electrospinning; ionic liquids; nanofibrils; supercritical carbon dioxide
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Muzzarelli, R.A.A. Biomedical Exploitation of Chitin and Chitosan via Mechano-Chemical Disassembly, Electrospinning, Dissolution in Imidazolium Ionic Liquids, and Supercritical Drying. Mar. Drugs 2011, 9, 1510-1533.

AMA Style

Muzzarelli RAA. Biomedical Exploitation of Chitin and Chitosan via Mechano-Chemical Disassembly, Electrospinning, Dissolution in Imidazolium Ionic Liquids, and Supercritical Drying. Marine Drugs. 2011; 9(9):1510-1533.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Muzzarelli, Riccardo A. A. 2011. "Biomedical Exploitation of Chitin and Chitosan via Mechano-Chemical Disassembly, Electrospinning, Dissolution in Imidazolium Ionic Liquids, and Supercritical Drying." Mar. Drugs 9, no. 9: 1510-1533.


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