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Crab vs. Mushroom: A Review of Crustacean and Fungal Chitin in Wound Treatment

School of Engineering, RMIT University, Bundoora East Campus, P.O. Box 71, Bundoora VIC 3083, Australia
Institute of Material Chemistry and Research, Polymer and Composite Engineering (PaCE) Group, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Vienna, Währinger Straße 42, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(1), 64;
Received: 27 December 2019 / Revised: 14 January 2020 / Accepted: 15 January 2020 / Published: 18 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Chitin 2019)
Chitin and its derivative chitosan are popular constituents in wound-treatment technologies due to their nanoscale fibrous morphology and attractive biomedical properties that accelerate healing and reduce scarring. These abundant natural polymers found in arthropod exoskeletons and fungal cell walls affect almost every phase of the healing process, acting as hemostatic and antibacterial agents that also support cell proliferation and attachment. However, key differences exist in the structure, properties, processing, and associated polymers of fungal and arthropod chitin, affecting their respective application to wound treatment. High purity crustacean-derived chitin and chitosan have been widely investigated for wound-treatment applications, with research incorporating chemically modified chitosan derivatives and advanced nanocomposite dressings utilizing biocompatible additives, such as natural polysaccharides, mineral clays, and metal nanoparticles used to achieve excellent mechanical and biomedical properties. Conversely, fungi-derived chitin is covalently decorated with -glucan and has received less research interest despite its mass production potential, simple extraction process, variations in chitin and associated polymer content, and the established healing properties of fungal exopolysaccharides. This review investigates the proven biomedical properties of both fungal- and crustacean-derived chitin and chitosan, their healing mechanisms, and their potential to advance modern wound-treatment methods through further research and practical application. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitin; chitosan; wound treatment; derivatization; nanocomposites chitin; chitosan; wound treatment; derivatization; nanocomposites
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jones, M.; Kujundzic, M.; John, S.; Bismarck, A. Crab vs. Mushroom: A Review of Crustacean and Fungal Chitin in Wound Treatment. Mar. Drugs 2020, 18, 64.

AMA Style

Jones M, Kujundzic M, John S, Bismarck A. Crab vs. Mushroom: A Review of Crustacean and Fungal Chitin in Wound Treatment. Marine Drugs. 2020; 18(1):64.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jones, Mitchell, Marina Kujundzic, Sabu John, and Alexander Bismarck. 2020. "Crab vs. Mushroom: A Review of Crustacean and Fungal Chitin in Wound Treatment" Marine Drugs 18, no. 1: 64.

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