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Special Issue "Chitin and Chitosans"

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A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Kjell M. Vårum

Norwegian Biopolymer Laboratory (NOBIPOL), Department of Biotechnology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
E-Mail
Phone: +47 73593324
Fax: +47 73591283
Interests: marine biopolymers; chitin and chitosans: structure-function relationship

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interest in biopolymers is increasing. Interest in chitin and chitosans is certainly no exception. This is particularly true with respect to their applications in pharmacy and medicine (e.g., new gelling systems, tissue engineering, drug and gene delivery etc.). However, for these applications to be successful, detailed knowledge of polymeric properties is required.

This Special Issue aims to contribute to such knowledge and to demonstrate successful applications that will take advantage of said knowledge. Topics of interest include (but are not limited to) the relationship between the chemical structure and the property/functionality of chitin and chitosans and novel advanced applications of chitin and chitosans, where variations in structure have been designed to fit specific applications.

Prof. Dr. Kjell M. Vårum
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Characterization and Properties of Hydrogels Made from Neutral Soluble Chitosans
Polymers 2015, 7(3), 373-389; doi:10.3390/polym7030373
Received: 24 November 2014 / Revised: 6 February 2015 / Accepted: 12 February 2015 / Published: 18 February 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1114 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The current paper focuses on the preparation and some characteristics of viscoelastic hydrogels, ViscoGels™, made from chitosans having a random acylation pattern. Three different chitosan batches with a high fraction of acetylation were selected based on their Mw, and the impact
[...] Read more.
The current paper focuses on the preparation and some characteristics of viscoelastic hydrogels, ViscoGels™, made from chitosans having a random acylation pattern. Three different chitosan batches with a high fraction of acetylation were selected based on their Mw, and the impact of degree of cross-linking on these chitosan samples has been studied with respect to the properties of the final hydrogels. Rheological long term (12 month) stability and gelling kinetics data are presented together with results from swelling studies at different pH. Finally, an example illustrating these gels potential as drug delivery vehicles is presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin and Chitosans)
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Open AccessArticle Direct Determination of Chitosan–Mucin Interactions Using a Single-Molecule Strategy: Comparison to Alginate–Mucin Interactions
Polymers 2015, 7(2), 161-185; doi:10.3390/polym7020161
Received: 10 October 2014 / Accepted: 19 January 2015 / Published: 29 January 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2788 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Aqueous chitosan possesses attractive interaction capacities with various molecular groups that can be involved in hydrogen bonds and electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. In the present paper, we report on the direct determination of chitosan–mucin molecular pair interactions at various solvent conditions as compared
[...] Read more.
Aqueous chitosan possesses attractive interaction capacities with various molecular groups that can be involved in hydrogen bonds and electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. In the present paper, we report on the direct determination of chitosan–mucin molecular pair interactions at various solvent conditions as compared to alginate–mucin interactions. Two chitosans of high molecular weight with different degrees of acetylation—thus possessing different solubility profiles in aqueous solution as a function of pH and two alginates with different fractions of α-guluronic acid were employed. The interaction properties were determined through a direct unbinding assay at the single-molecular pair level using an atomic force microscope. When probed against immobilized mucin, both chitosans and alginates revealed unbinding profiles characteristic of localized interactions along the polymers. The interaction capacities and estimated parameters of the energy landscapes of the pairwise chitosan–mucin and alginate–mucin interactions are discussed in view of possible contributions from various fundamental forces. Signatures arising both from an electrostatic mechanism and hydrophobic interaction are identified in the chitosan–mucin interaction properties. The molecular nature of the observed chitosan–mucin and alginate–mucin interactions indicates that force spectroscopy provides fundamental insights that can be useful in understanding the surface binding properties of other potentially mucoadhesive polymers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin and Chitosans)
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Chitin/Poly(butylene succinate)/Chondroitin Sulfate Nanoparticles Ternary Composite Hydrogel Scaffold for Skin Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2014, 6(12), 2974-2984; doi:10.3390/polym6122974
Received: 4 November 2014 / Revised: 1 December 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (8883 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Skin loss is one of the oldest and still not totally resolved problems in the medical field. Since spontaneous healing of the dermal defects would not occur, the regeneration of full thickness of skin requires skin substitutes. Tissue engineering constructs would provide a
[...] Read more.
Skin loss is one of the oldest and still not totally resolved problems in the medical field. Since spontaneous healing of the dermal defects would not occur, the regeneration of full thickness of skin requires skin substitutes. Tissue engineering constructs would provide a three dimensional matrix for the reconstruction of skin tissue and the repair of damage. The aim of the present work is to develop a chitin based scaffold, by blending it with poly(butylene succinate) (PBS), an aliphatic, biodegradable and biocompatible synthetic polymer with excellent mechanical properties. The presence of chondroitin sulfate nanoparticles (CSnp) in the scaffold would favor cell adhesion. A chitin/PBS/CSnp composite hydrogel scaffold was developed and characterized by SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope), FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy), and swelling ratio of scaffolds were analyzed. The scaffolds were evaluated for the suitability for skin tissue engineering application by cytotoxicity, cell attachment, and cell proliferation studies using human dermal fibroblasts (HDF). The cytotoxicity and cell proliferation studies using HDF confirm the suitability of the scaffold for skin regeneration. In short, these results show promising applicability of the developed chitin/PBS/CSnps ternary composite hydrogel scaffolds for skin tissue regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin and Chitosans)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Functionalization Degree on the Rheological Properties of Isocyanate-Functionalized Chitin- and Chitosan-Based Chemical Oleogels for Lubricant Applications
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 1929-1947; doi:10.3390/polym6071929
Received: 30 May 2014 / Revised: 27 June 2014 / Accepted: 28 June 2014 / Published: 8 July 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (418 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work deals with the influence of functionalization degree on the thermogravimetric and rheological behaviour of NCO-functionalized chitosan- and chitin-based oleogels. Chitosan and chitin were functionalized using different proportions of 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI) and subsequently dispersed in castor oil to promote the chemical
[...] Read more.
This work deals with the influence of functionalization degree on the thermogravimetric and rheological behaviour of NCO-functionalized chitosan- and chitin-based oleogels. Chitosan and chitin were functionalized using different proportions of 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI) and subsequently dispersed in castor oil to promote the chemical reaction between the –NCO group of the modified biopolymer and the –OH group located in the ricinoleic fatty acid chain of castor oil, thus resulting in different oleogels with specific thermogravimetric and rheological characteristics. Biopolymers and oleogels were characterized through Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Small-amplitude oscillatory shear (SAOS) measurements were performed on the oleogels. Oleogels presented suitable thermal resistance, despite the fact that the inclusion of HMDI moieties in the polymer structure led to a reduction in the onset temperature of thermal degradation. The insertion of low amounts of HMDI in both chitin and chitosan produces a drastic reduction in the values of oleogel viscoelastic functions but, above a critical threshold, they increase with the functionalization degree so that isocyanate functionalization results in a chemical tool to modulate oleogel rheological response. Several NCO-functionalized chitosan- and chitin-based oleogel formulations present suitable thermal resistance and rheological characteristics to be proposed as bio-based alternatives to traditional lubricating greases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin and Chitosans)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Chitosan: Gels and Interfacial Properties
Polymers 2015, 7(3), 552-579; doi:10.3390/polym7030552
Received: 19 December 2014 / Revised: 19 February 2015 / Accepted: 5 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1525 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chitosan is a unique biopolymer in the respect that it is abundant, cationic, low-toxic, non-immunogenic and biodegradable. The relative occurrence of the two monomeric building units (N-acetyl-glucosamine and d-glucosamine) is crucial to whether chitosan is predominantly an ampholyte or predominantly a
[...] Read more.
Chitosan is a unique biopolymer in the respect that it is abundant, cationic, low-toxic, non-immunogenic and biodegradable. The relative occurrence of the two monomeric building units (N-acetyl-glucosamine and d-glucosamine) is crucial to whether chitosan is predominantly an ampholyte or predominantly a polyelectrolyte at acidic pH-values. The chemical composition is not only crucial to its surface activity properties, but also to whether and why chitosan can undergo a sol–gel transition. This review gives an overview of chitosan hydrogels and their biomedical applications, e.g., in tissue engineering and drug delivery, as well as the chitosan’s surface activity and its role in emulsion formation, stabilization and destabilization. Previously unpublished original data where chitosan acts as an emulsifier and flocculant are presented and discussed, showing that highly-acetylated chitosans can act both as an emulsifier and as a flocculant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin and Chitosans)
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Open AccessReview Poriferan Chitin as a Versatile Template for Extreme Biomimetics
Polymers 2015, 7(2), 235-265; doi:10.3390/polym7020235
Received: 6 November 2014 / Accepted: 3 February 2015 / Published: 9 February 2015
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (4422 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this mini-review, we shall first cover a short history of the discovery of chitin isolated from sponges; as well as its evolutionarily ancient roots. Next, we will delve into the unique structural, mechanical, and thermal properties of this naturally occurring polymer to
[...] Read more.
In this mini-review, we shall first cover a short history of the discovery of chitin isolated from sponges; as well as its evolutionarily ancient roots. Next, we will delve into the unique structural, mechanical, and thermal properties of this naturally occurring polymer to illuminate how its physicochemical properties may find uses in diverse areas of the material sciences. We show how the unique properties and morphology of sponge chitin renders it quite useful for the new route of “Extreme Biomimetics”; where high temperatures and pressures allow a range of interesting bioinorganic composite materials to be made. These new biomaterials have electrical, chemical, and material properties that have applications in water filtration, medicine, catalysis, and biosensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin and Chitosans)
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Open AccessReview Chitosan to Connect Biology to Electronics: Fabricating the Bio-Device Interface and Communicating Across This Interface
Polymers 2015, 7(1), 1-46; doi:10.3390/polym7010001
Received: 10 November 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (6365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Individually, advances in microelectronics and biology transformed the way we live our lives. However, there remain few examples in which biology and electronics have been interfaced to create synergistic capabilities. We believe there are two major challenges to the integration of biological components
[...] Read more.
Individually, advances in microelectronics and biology transformed the way we live our lives. However, there remain few examples in which biology and electronics have been interfaced to create synergistic capabilities. We believe there are two major challenges to the integration of biological components into microelectronic systems: (i) assembly of the biological components at an electrode address, and (ii) communication between the assembled biological components and the underlying electrode. Chitosan possesses a unique combination of properties to meet these challenges and serve as an effective bio-device interface material. For assembly, chitosan’s pH-responsive film-forming properties allow it to “recognize” electrode-imposed signals and respond by self-assembling as a stable hydrogel film through a cathodic electrodeposition mechanism. A separate anodic electrodeposition mechanism was recently reported and this also allows chitosan hydrogel films to be assembled at an electrode address. Protein-based biofunctionality can be conferred to electrodeposited films through a variety of physical, chemical and biological methods. For communication, we are investigating redox-active catechol-modified chitosan films as an interface to bridge redox-based communication between biology and an electrode. Despite significant progress over the last decade, many questions still remain which warrants even deeper study of chitosan’s structure, properties, and functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin and Chitosans)
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