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Special Issue "Chitins 2018"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 June 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Hitoshi Sashiwa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Kaneka Co., Ltd, 5-1-1 Torikai-Nishi, Settsu, Osaka 566-0072 Japan
Interests: chemical modification of chitin and chitosan and their biomedical applications; biodegradable polymer; bio-based polymer
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The research history on chitins, one of the most major and abundant natural polysaccharides on earth, has been started around 40 years ago. Since the 1980s, chitin and chitosan research (including D-glucosamine, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, and their oligomers) has progressed significantly over several stages in both fundamental and industrial fields. With the opening of this Special Issue, “Chitins”, we are planning to produce a strong, very exciting issue that will encompass breakthroughs in highly valuable, scientific, and industrial research in this field. The Special Issue covers recent trends in all aspects of basic and applied scientific research on chitin, chitosan and their derivatives.

We look forward very much to your input.

Dr. Hitoshi Sashiwa
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • chitin
  • chitosan
  • D-glucosamine
  • N-acetyl-D-glucosamine
  • chito-oligosaccharide

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Nanostructured Chitosan-Based Biomaterials for Sustained and Colon-Specific Resveratrol Release
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(2), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20020398 - 18 Jan 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
In the present work, we demonstrate the preparation of chitosan-based composites as vehicles of the natural occurring multi-drug resveratrol (RES). Such systems are endowed with potential therapeutic effects on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis, through the [...] Read more.
In the present work, we demonstrate the preparation of chitosan-based composites as vehicles of the natural occurring multi-drug resveratrol (RES). Such systems are endowed with potential therapeutic effects on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis, through the sustained colonic release of RES from long-lasting mucoadhesive drug depots. The loading of RES into nanoparticles (NPs) was optimized regarding two independent variables: RES/polymer ratio, and temperature. Twenty experiments were carried out and a Box–Behnken experimental design was used to evaluate the significance of these independent variables related to encapsulation efficiency (EE). The enhanced RES EE values were achieved in 24 h at 39 °C and at RES/polymer ratio of 0.75:1 w/w. Sizes and polydispersities of the optimized NPs were studied by dynamic light scattering (DLS). Chitosan (CTS) dispersions containing the RES-loaded NPs were ionically gelled with tricarballylic acid to yield CTS-NPs composites. Macro- and microscopic features (morphology and porosity studied by SEM and spreadability), thermal stability (studied by TGA), and release kinetics of the RES-loaded CTS-NPs were investigated. Release patterns in simulated colon conditions for 48 h displayed significant differences between the NPs (final cumulative drug release: 79–81%), and the CTS-NPs composites (29–34%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Chitosan Inhibits the Rehabilitation of Damaged Microbes Induced by Photodynamic Inactivation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2598; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092598 - 01 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Previously, we showed that chitosan could augment the biocidal efficacy mediated by photodynamic treatment against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans. In this study, we showed that the antimicrobial action of chitosan in augmenting photodynamic inactivation (PDI) is related [...] Read more.
Previously, we showed that chitosan could augment the biocidal efficacy mediated by photodynamic treatment against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans. In this study, we showed that the antimicrobial action of chitosan in augmenting photodynamic inactivation (PDI) is related to the increase in cell surface destruction. The microbial cell surfaces exhibit severe irregular shapes after PDI in the presence of chitosan as demonstrated by transmitted electron microscopy. Furthermore, increases in the concentration or incubation time of chitosan significantly reduced the amounts of photosensitizer toluidine blue O required, indicating that chitosan could be an augmenting agent used in conjunction with PDI against S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and C. albicans. A prolonged lag phase was found in microbial cells that survived to PDI, in which chitosan acted to completely eradicate the cells. Once the exponential log stage and cell rebuild began, their cellular functions from PDI-induced damage returned and the increased cytotoxic effect of chitosan disappeared. Together, our results suggest that chitosan can prevent the rehabilitation of PDI-surviving microbial cells, leading to increased biocidal efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Chitosan–Carboxymethylcellulose-Based Polyelectrolyte Complexation and Microcapsule Shell Formulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2521; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092521 - 25 Aug 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Chitosan (CH)–carboxymethyl cellulose sodium salt (NaCMC) microcapsules containing paraffin oil were synthesized by complex formation, and crosslinked with glutaraldehyde (GTA). The electrostatic deposition of NaCMC onto the CH-coated paraffin oil emulsion droplets was demonstrated by zeta potential and optical microscopy. The optimal process [...] Read more.
Chitosan (CH)–carboxymethyl cellulose sodium salt (NaCMC) microcapsules containing paraffin oil were synthesized by complex formation, and crosslinked with glutaraldehyde (GTA). The electrostatic deposition of NaCMC onto the CH-coated paraffin oil emulsion droplets was demonstrated by zeta potential and optical microscopy. The optimal process conditions were identified in terms of pH of the aqueous solution (5.5) and CH/NaCMC mass ratio (1:1). Encapsulation of paraffin oil and microcapsule morphology were analyzed by ATR-FTIR and SEM, respectively. The effect of GTA crosslinking on paraffin oil latent heat was investigated by DSC and combined with the values of encapsulation efficiency and core content, supporting the compact shell formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Chitosan-Based Nanofibrous Membrane Unit with Gradient Compositional and Structural Features for Mimicking Calcified Layer in Osteochondral Matrix
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082330 - 08 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Chitosan (CH), silk fibroin (SF), and hydroxyapatite (HA) were used to prepare CH/SF/HA composites and the resulting composites were electrospun into nanofibrous membrane units with gradient compositional and structural features. The optimal membrane unit was used together with CH/HA and CH/SF composites to [...] Read more.
Chitosan (CH), silk fibroin (SF), and hydroxyapatite (HA) were used to prepare CH/SF/HA composites and the resulting composites were electrospun into nanofibrous membrane units with gradient compositional and structural features. The optimal membrane unit was used together with CH/HA and CH/SF composites to fabricate a type of three-layer scaffold that is intended for osteochondral repair. The bottom layer of the scaffold was built with CH/HA composites and it served as a subchondral layer, the integrated nanofibrous membrane unit functioned as the middle layer for mimicking the calcified layer and the top layer was constructed using CH/SF composites for acting as a chondral layer. The nanofibrous membrane unit was found to be permeable to some molecules with limited molecular weight and was able to prevent the seeded cells from migrating cross the unit, functioning approximately like the calcified layer in the osteochondral matrix. Layered scaffolds showed abilities to promote the growth of both chondrocytes and osteoblasts that were seeded in their chondral layer and bony layer, respectively, and they were also able to support the phenotype preservation of seeded chondrocytes and the mineralization of neotissue in the bony layer. Results suggest that this type of layered scaffolds can function as an analogue of the osteochondral matrix and it has potential in osteochondral repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Morphological, Mechanical and Mucoadhesive Properties of Electrospun Chitosan/Phospholipid Hybrid Nanofibers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082266 - 02 Aug 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
This study aimed to develop hybrid electrospun chitosan–phospholipid nanofibers and investigate the effect of phospholipid (P) content and chitosans (Ch) molecular weights (Mw) and degree of acetylation (DA), on the morphological, mechanical and mucoadhesive properties of the nanofibers. Electrospun Ch/P nanofibers exhibited a [...] Read more.
This study aimed to develop hybrid electrospun chitosan–phospholipid nanofibers and investigate the effect of phospholipid (P) content and chitosans (Ch) molecular weights (Mw) and degree of acetylation (DA), on the morphological, mechanical and mucoadhesive properties of the nanofibers. Electrospun Ch/P nanofibers exhibited a smooth and uniform surface with average diameters ranging from 300 to 1000 nm, as observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The average diameter of the nanofibers was observed to increase with the increase of the Mw and degree of deacetylation of Ch, and phospholipid content. The elastic and adhesive properties of the nanofibers were determined by atomic force microscopy, and displayed higher values for higher Mw and lower DA Ch used. The elastic modulus of electrospun Ch/P hybrid fibers determined for the different conditions tested was found to be in the range of 500 and 1400 MPa. Furthermore, electrospun Ch/P nanofibers displayed mucoadhesive properties expressed by the work of adhesion calculated after the compression of the nanofibers against a section of pig small intestine. Our results showed that the increase in phospholipid content and DA of Ch decrease the work of adhesion, while the increase of Mw resulted in slightly higher work of adhesion of the nanofibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Pre-Harvest Treatment of Chitosan Oligosaccharides Improved Strawberry Fruit Quality
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2194; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082194 - 27 Jul 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Chitosan oligosaccharide (COS), derived through hydrolysis of chitosan, has been proved to be an effective plant immunity elicitor, eco-friendly, and easily soluble in water, and influenced several secondary metabolites content to improve fruit qualities. COS are widely used in agriculture to improve the [...] Read more.
Chitosan oligosaccharide (COS), derived through hydrolysis of chitosan, has been proved to be an effective plant immunity elicitor, eco-friendly, and easily soluble in water, and influenced several secondary metabolites content to improve fruit qualities. COS are widely used in agriculture to improve the defense response in plants. The purpose of this study was to investigate the pre-harvest treatment effect of COS on the quality of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa cv.qingxiang). COS was dissolved in distilled water at a concentration of 50 mg·L−1 and sprayed at four different growth stages of strawberry plants, namely seedling stage, before flowering, fruit coloring (the stage of fruit from white to red) and full bloom. Uniform size, shape, color, without any visible damage, and disease-free fruits were harvested for determining the quality. The results showed that the fruit firmness, viscosity, lignin, sugars, protein, total soluble solid, and titratable acidity content increased in COS-treated fruits compared to control. In addition, COS pre-harvest treatment had a positive effect on anthocyanin, total phenol, flavonoid, vitamin C content and DPPH(2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) scavenging activity of strawberry. Moreover, COS also increased the cell wall composition and regulated gene expression of some important enzymes involved in ethylene compound biosynthesis and cell wall degradation. The finding of this study suggests that pre-harvest application of COS is very useful for improving quality and antioxidant capacity of strawberry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Antibacterial and Biofilm Modulating Potential of Ferulic Acid-Grafted Chitosan against Human Pathogenic Bacteria
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082157 - 24 Jul 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
The emergence of more virulent forms of human pathogenic bacteria with multi-drug resistance is a serious global issue and requires alternative control strategies. The current study focused on investigating the antibacterial and antibiofilm potential of ferulic acid-grafted chitosan (CFA) against Listeria monocytogenes (LM), [...] Read more.
The emergence of more virulent forms of human pathogenic bacteria with multi-drug resistance is a serious global issue and requires alternative control strategies. The current study focused on investigating the antibacterial and antibiofilm potential of ferulic acid-grafted chitosan (CFA) against Listeria monocytogenes (LM), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA), and Staphylococcus aureus (SA). The result showed that CFA at 64 µg/mL concentration exhibits bactericidal action against LM and SA (>4 log reduction) and bacteriostatic action against PA (<2 log colony forming units/mL reduction) within 24 h of incubation. Further studies based on propidium iodide uptake assay, measurement of material released from the cell, and electron microscopic analysis revealed that the bactericidal action of CFA was due to altered membrane integrity and permeability. CFA dose dependently inhibited biofilm formation (52–89% range), metabolic activity (30.8–75.1% range) and eradicated mature biofilms, and reduced viability (71–82% range) of the test bacteria. Also, the swarming motility of LM was differentially affected at sub-minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) concentrations of CFA. In the present study, the ability of CFA to kill and alter the virulence production in human pathogenic bacteria will offer insights into a new scope for the application of these biomaterials in healthcare to effectively treat bacterial infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of Stimuli-Responsive Poly(2-dimethylamino-ethylmethacrylate)-Grafted Chitosan Microcapsule for Controlled Pyraclostrobin Release
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030854 - 14 Mar 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
Controllable pesticide release in response to environmental stimuli is highly desirable for better efficacy and fewer adverse effects. Combining the merits of natural and synthetic polymers, pH and temperature dual-responsive chitosan copolymer (CS-g-PDMAEMA) was facilely prepared through free radical graft copolymerization [...] Read more.
Controllable pesticide release in response to environmental stimuli is highly desirable for better efficacy and fewer adverse effects. Combining the merits of natural and synthetic polymers, pH and temperature dual-responsive chitosan copolymer (CS-g-PDMAEMA) was facilely prepared through free radical graft copolymerization with 2-(dimethylamino) ethyl 2-methacrylate (DMAEMA) as the vinyl monomer. An emulsion chemical cross-linking method was used to expediently fabricate pyraclostrobin microcapsules in situ entrapping the pesticide. The loading content and encapsulation efficiency were 18.79% and 64.51%, respectively. The pyraclostrobin-loaded microcapsules showed pH-and thermo responsive release. Microcapsulation can address the inherent limitation of pyraclostrobin that is photo unstable and highly toxic on aquatic organisms. Compared to free pyraclostrobin, microcapsulation could dramatically improve its photostability under ultraviolet light irradiation. Lower acute toxicity against zebra fish on the first day and gradually similar toxicity over time with that of pyraclostrobin technical concentrate were in accordance with the release profiles of pyraclostrobin microcapsules. This stimuli-responsive pesticide delivery system may find promising application potential in sustainable plant protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Molecular Mechanisms of Chitosan Interactions with Fungi and Plants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(2), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20020332 - 15 Jan 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Chitosan is a versatile compound with multiple biotechnological applications. This polymer inhibits clinically important human fungal pathogens under the same carbon and nitrogen status as in blood. Chitosan permeabilises their high-fluidity plasma membrane and increases production of intracellular oxygen species (ROS). Conversely, chitosan [...] Read more.
Chitosan is a versatile compound with multiple biotechnological applications. This polymer inhibits clinically important human fungal pathogens under the same carbon and nitrogen status as in blood. Chitosan permeabilises their high-fluidity plasma membrane and increases production of intracellular oxygen species (ROS). Conversely, chitosan is compatible with mammalian cell lines as well as with biocontrol fungi (BCF). BCF resistant to chitosan have low-fluidity membranes and high glucan/chitin ratios in their cell walls. Recent studies illustrate molecular and physiological basis of chitosan-root interactions. Chitosan induces auxin accumulation in Arabidopsis roots. This polymer causes overexpression of tryptophan-dependent auxin biosynthesis pathway. It also blocks auxin translocation in roots. Chitosan is a plant defense modulator. Endophytes and fungal pathogens evade plant immunity converting chitin into chitosan. LysM effectors shield chitin and protect fungal cell walls from plant chitinases. These enzymes together with fungal chitin deacetylases, chitosanases and effectors play determinant roles during fungal colonization of plants. This review describes chitosan mode of action (cell and gene targets) in fungi and plants. This knowledge will help to develop chitosan for agrobiotechnological and medical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessReview
Needle-Free Immunization with Chitosan-Based Systems
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(11), 3639; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19113639 - 19 Nov 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Despite successful use, needle-based immunizations have several issues such as the risk of injuries and infections from the reuse of needles and syringes and the low patient compliance due to pain and fear of needles during immunization. In contrast, needle-free immunizations have several [...] Read more.
Despite successful use, needle-based immunizations have several issues such as the risk of injuries and infections from the reuse of needles and syringes and the low patient compliance due to pain and fear of needles during immunization. In contrast, needle-free immunizations have several advantages including ease of administration, high level of patient compliance and the possibility of mass vaccination. Thus, there is an increasing interest on developing effective needle-free immunizations via cutaneous and mucosal approaches. Here, we discuss several methods of needle-free immunizations and provide insights into promising use of chitosan systems for successful immunization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessReview
Mixed Peptide-Conjugated Chitosan Matrices as Multi-Receptor Targeted Cell-Adhesive Scaffolds
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092713 - 11 Sep 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Biomaterials are important for cell and tissue engineering. Chitosan is widely used as a scaffold because it is easily modified using its amino groups, can easily form a matrix, is stable under physiological conditions, and is inactive for cell adhesion. Chitosan is an [...] Read more.
Biomaterials are important for cell and tissue engineering. Chitosan is widely used as a scaffold because it is easily modified using its amino groups, can easily form a matrix, is stable under physiological conditions, and is inactive for cell adhesion. Chitosan is an excellent platform for peptide ligands, especially cell adhesive peptides derived from extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. ECM proteins, such as collagen, fibronectin, and laminin, are multifunctional and have diverse cell attachment sites. Various cell adhesive peptides have been identified from the ECM proteins, and these are useful to design functional biomaterials. The cell attachment activity of peptides is influenced by the solubility, conformation, and coating efficiency to solid materials, whereas immobilization of peptides to a polysaccharide such as chitosan avoids these problems. Peptide–chitosan matrices promote various biological activities depending on the peptide. When the peptides are immobilized to chitosan, the activity of the peptides is significantly enhanced. Further, mixed peptide–chitosan matrices, conjugated with more than one peptide on a chitosan matrix, interact with multiple cellular receptors and promote specific biological responses via receptor cross-talk. Receptor cross-talk is important for mimicking the biological activity of ECM and the proteins. The mixed peptide–chitosan matrix approach is useful to develop biomaterials as a synthetic ECM for cell and tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessReview
Injectable and Self-Healing Chitosan Hydrogel Based on Imine Bonds: Design and Therapeutic Applications
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082198 - 27 Jul 2018
Cited by 12
Abstract
Biological tissues can automatically repair themselves after damage. Examples include skin, muscle, soft tissue, etc. Inspired by these living tissues, numerous self-healing hydrogels have been developed recently. Chitosan-based self-healing hydrogels constructed via dynamic imine bonds have been widely studied due to their simple [...] Read more.
Biological tissues can automatically repair themselves after damage. Examples include skin, muscle, soft tissue, etc. Inspired by these living tissues, numerous self-healing hydrogels have been developed recently. Chitosan-based self-healing hydrogels constructed via dynamic imine bonds have been widely studied due to their simple preparation, good biocompatibility, and automatic reparability under physiological conditions. In this mini-review, we highlighted chitosan-based self-healing hydrogels based on dynamic imine chemistry, and provided an overview of the preparation of these hydrogels and their bioapplications in cell therapy, tumor therapy, and wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessReview
A Review of the Preparation, Analysis and Biological Functions of Chitooligosaccharide
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2197; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082197 - 27 Jul 2018
Cited by 20
Abstract
Chitooligosaccharide (COS), which is acknowledged for possessing multiple functions, is a kind of low-molecular-weight polymer prepared by degrading chitosan via enzymatic, chemical methods, etc. COS has comprehensive applications in various fields including food, agriculture, pharmacy, clinical therapy, and environmental industries. Besides having excellent [...] Read more.
Chitooligosaccharide (COS), which is acknowledged for possessing multiple functions, is a kind of low-molecular-weight polymer prepared by degrading chitosan via enzymatic, chemical methods, etc. COS has comprehensive applications in various fields including food, agriculture, pharmacy, clinical therapy, and environmental industries. Besides having excellent properties such as biodegradability, biocompatibility, adsorptive abilities and non-toxicity like chitin and chitosan, COS has better solubility. In addition, COS has strong biological functions including anti-inflammatory, antitumor, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective effects, etc. The present paper has summarized the preparation methods, analytical techniques and biological functions to provide an overall understanding of the application of COS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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Open AccessReview
Shining Light on Chitosan: A Review on the Usage of Chitosan for Photonics and Nanomaterials Research
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(6), 1795; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19061795 - 17 Jun 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Chitosan (CS) is a natural polymer derived from chitin that has found its usage both in research and commercial applications due to its unique solubility and chemical and biological attributes. The biocompatibility and biodegradability of CS have helped researchers identify its utility in [...] Read more.
Chitosan (CS) is a natural polymer derived from chitin that has found its usage both in research and commercial applications due to its unique solubility and chemical and biological attributes. The biocompatibility and biodegradability of CS have helped researchers identify its utility in the delivery of therapeutic agents, tissue engineering, wound healing, and more. Industrial applications include cosmetic and personal care products, wastewater treatment, and corrosion protection, to name a few. Many researchers have published numerous reviews outlining the physical and chemical properties of CS, as well as its use for many of the above-mentioned applications. Recently, the cationic polyelectrolyte nature of CS was found to be advantageous for stabilizing fascinating photonic materials including plasmonic nanoparticles (e.g., gold and silver), semiconductor nanoparticles (e.g., zinc oxide, cadmium sulfide), fluorescent organic dyes (e.g., fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)), luminescent transitional and lanthanide complexes (e.g., Au(I) and Ru(II), and Eu(III)). These photonic systems have been extensively investigated for their usage in antimicrobial, wound healing, diagnostics, sensing, and imaging applications. Highlighted in this review are the different works involving some of the above-mentioned molecular-nano systems that are prepared or stabilized using the CS polymer. The advantages and the role of the CS for synthesizing and stabilizing the above-mentioned optically active materials have been illustrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitins 2018)
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