Chitin is a promising structural material for biomedical applications, due to its many advantageous properties and abundance in nature. However, its usage and development in the biomedical field have been stagnant, because of chitin’s poor mechanical properties in wet conditions and the difficulties in transforming it into an applicable form. To overcome these challenges, we created a novel biomimetic chitin composite. This regenerated chitin, prepared with ionic liquid, showed improved mechanical properties in wet conditions by mimicking insect cuticle and squid beak sclerotization, i.e.
, catechol-meditated cross-linking. By ionic liquid-based heat treatment, dopamine oxidation produced melanin-like compounds and dopamine-meditated cross-links without any solvent evaporation and oxidant utilization. The dopamine-meditated sclerotization increased the ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of the regenerated chitin by 2.52-fold, measured after six weeks of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) submersion. In addition, the linear swelling ratio (LSR) of the chitin film was reduced by about 22%. This strategy raises a possibility of using regenerated chitin as an artificial hard tissue in wet conditions.