Although chitin is of the most available biopolymers on Earth its uses and applications are limited due to its low solubility. The deacetylation of chitin leads to chitosan. This biopolymer, composed of randomly distributed β-(1-4)-linked D-units, has better physicochemical properties due to the facts that it is possible to dissolve this biopolymer under acidic conditions, it can adopt several conformations or structures and it can be functionalized with a wide range of functional groups to modulate its superficial composition to a specific application. Chitosan is considered a highly biocompatible biopolymer due to its biodegradability, bioadhesivity and bioactivity in such a way this biopolymer displays a wide range of applications. Thus, chitosan is a promising biopolymer for numerous applications in the biomedical field (skin, bone, tissue engineering, artificial kidneys, nerves, livers, wound healing). This biopolymer is also employed to trap both organic compounds and dyes or for the selective separation of binary mixtures. In addition, chitosan can also be used as catalyst or can be used as starting molecule to obtain high added value products. Considering these premises, this review is focused on the structure and modification of chitosan as well as its uses and applications.
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