Chitosan Biomedical Applications: Opportunities and Challenges
A special issue of Pharmaceutics (ISSN 1999-4923).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2018) | Viewed by 50747
Interests: mucosal delivery; mucoadhesion; nanosystems
Interests: rheology and viscosimetry; mucoadhesion; in situ gelling polymers; micro- and nanoparticulate systems; statistical optimization techniques; wound dressings, nervous tissue repair
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Interests: nanoparticles; nanofibers; in situ gelling systems; scaffolds; tissue engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Chitosans represent a family of polymers of natural origin that possess unique physico-chemical, pharmaceutical and biological properties. In particular they offer the advantages of biocompatibility and biodegradability, which favour their applications in medical fields, chemical versatility and technological versatility,which make them ideal ingredients for a variety of formulations (hydrogels, xerogels, powders, films, sponges, scaffolds, nanostructures).
Chitosans also possess a variety of biological properties like hemostatic and angiogenic activity, antimicrobial properties, radical scavenging and antioxidant activity. All these properties, coupled with the ability of stimulating granulation process, facilitate the proliferative remodelling phase of wound healing sequence.
Due to their unique polycationic nature, chitosans are among the most popular mucoadhesive agents and known to promote transmucosal and transepithelial drug absorption. They also inhibit intestinal fat absorption and improve intestinal microflora.
Because of their versatility, chitosan and chitosan derivatives have been studied for a number of biomedical applications, ranging from medicinals to medical devices and combination (drug plus device) products and are largely available on the market as nutraceuticals.
Pharmaceutical applications likely include the development of drug products, for both small and complex molecules, intended for nasal, ophtalmic, intestinal and cutaneous administration, as well as the employment in immunological medicinal products (vaccines, ..) and in advanced therapy products (tissue engineering, gene delivery). In the field of medical devices and combination products, chitosans are already used in tissue repair as adsorbent, hemostatic, antimicrobial and dental dressings, and proposed for tissue regeneration as, for example, hydrogel scaffolding for cell proliferation, bone graft substitutes, dental fillers.
Despite this favourable scenario, there are many issues that need to be addessed attentively even in the early research and developmen phases, namely the quality of both native and semisyntehtic chitosans, primarily the characterization and stardardization of chemical and physico-chemical properties, but also the safety issues linked to their natural origin, extraction or semisynthetic processes, or even intrinsic biological activities that may trigger unwanted effects. Failure to look at these aspects would delay the translation of the research products into the clinic and ultimately compromise the regulatory approval.
Besides these difficulties, we want to deliver a positive message on the future of the developmental research on chitosans biomedical products, in particular in certain challenging therapeutic areas. As an example, in the area of wound healing and tissue repair there are still important unmet medical needs (e.g. the treatment of chronic lesions ), which, together with the increasing demand of such products due to population aging and on behalf of new emerging countries, allow an encouraging message to be conveyed to the researchers engaged in these challenges.
This special issue is dedicated to recent novel and innovative contributions in the field of biomedical applications of chitosans and derivatives. These may concern both medicated and unmedicated (medical device) products, both formulation development and manufacturing processes, both native chitosans and their derivatives. Contributions from PhD students, post-doc and and young investigators will be welcome.
We invite the researchers to contribute their original research work, but also review articles that are related to the topic will be considered.
Prof. Dr. Carla M. Caramella
Prof. Dr. Silvia Rossi
Prof. Dr. Giuseppina Sandri
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- Chitosan derivatives
- Wound healing
- Tissue repair
- Medical devices
- Tissue engineering
- Chitosan regulatory status