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(a) From Science &

(a) From Science & Research (b) Figure 2. SEM views of chitin foam lyophilized after freezing at -20°C overnight: (a) surface; (b) cross section. Scale bar =100 mm. Reprinted in part from [8] with the permission from ACS (2011) References [1] M.Rinaudo, Chitin and chitosan: Properties and applications, Prog. Polym. Sci., 31, 603-632 (2006) [2] M.Rinaudo, Main properties and current applications of some polysaccharides as biomaterials, Polym. Int., 57(3), 397-430 (2008) [3] S.Hirano, Wet-spinning and applications of functional fibers based on chitin and chitosan, in Natural and synthetic polymers: challenges and perspectives, W. Arguelles-Monal (Ed.). Macromol Symp. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, Weinheim,Germany, 168, 21-30 (2001) [4] C.K.S.Pillai, W.Paul and C.P. Sharma, Chitin and chitosan polymers : chemistry, solubility and fiber formation, Prog. Polym. Sci., 34, 641-678 (2009) [5] R.Jayakumar, D.Menon, K.Manzoor, S. V. Nair and H. Tamura, Biomedical applications of chitin and chitosan based nanomaterials. A short review, Carbohydr. Polym., 82(2), 227-232 (2010). [6] Khor E, Lim LY, Implantable applications of chitin and chitosan, Biomaterials 24, 2339-2349 (2003) [7] Ravi Kumar M N V, Muzzarelli R A A, Muzzarelli C, Sashiwa H, Domb A J. Chitosan Chemistry and pharmaceutical perspectives Chem Rev., 104, 6017-6084 (2004) [8] S.Tokura, H.Tamura, K.takahashi, N.Sakairi, and N.Nishi, ACS Symposium series 737 (Chapter 6, pp 85-97), Polysaccharides applications-Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals, Edited by M.A.El Nokali and H.A.Soini, American Chemical Society 1999 Main applications of chitin and chitosan. The current main development is in biomedical and biopharmaceutical applications as wound-dressing material, artificial skin (blended with collagen), excipient and drug carrier in film, foam, gel or powder forms taking into account the biocompatibility, biodegradability, physiological inertness, affinity for proteins and mucoadhesivity [6,7]. Mixed with nanoparticles of hydroxyapatite they are used in tissue engineering to generate bone. Chitosan, being the only cationic pseudo-natural polymer, may be used in aqueous solution to clarify and purify industrial waste water. In the paper industry it is used as a filter aid and sizing agent, wet end additive (increasing the wet strength), pulping additive, surface treating agent and fibre binder. It also improves the gas barrier properties of paper. It is used in the textile industry for its antibacterial properties. These polysaccharides are also used, or potentially usable, in the food industry, biotechnology, agriculture, cosmetics products, membrane filter technology, textile industry etc [1]. In solid state, cross-linked chitosan foams are useful as cosmetic wipes and pads, as a base material for cosmetic packaging or microbial barrier in wound dressing capable of absorbing wound exudate. Gelatin-chitosan or starch-chitosan foams were also prepared. Chitosan and derivatives with a film structure were used for preservation of foods against microbial deterioration or as an additive in deacidification of fruit and beverages, emulsifier agents, thickening and stabilizing agents, colour stabilization, and as dietary supplements. Mixed with starch, it was proposed as a disposable packaging material, possibly reinforced with cellulosic fibres. Blends or composites with chitin or chitosan on one side and cellulose, poly(caprolactone)(PCL), poly(vinyl alcohol)(PVA), polyalkylene glycol, PET, PHB, PA6 and PA66, PAN, polypropylene treated by corona discharge on the other side are mentioned in the literature. In these materials, cellulose, chitin or chitosan are introduced as nano-fibres to reinforce mechanical properties or blended with the second polymer from mixed solutions. The main interest in the presence of chitin, chitosan or their derivatives (such as carboxymethylated-chitin and –chitosan) is to introduce a new material with antimicrobial quality (especially for packaging of food and agricultural products), some hydrophilic and biocompatibility characteristics for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications), biodegradability when used in a pure form or in mixture with another biodegradable polymer. 50 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/11] Vol. 6

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