Chitosan—A versatile semi-synthetic polymer in biomedical applications
Progress in polymer science
This review outlines the new developments on chitosan-based bioapplications. Over the last decade, functional biomaterials research has developed new drug delivery systems and improved scaffolds for regenerative medicine that is currently one of the most rapidly growing fields in the life sciences. The aim is to restore or replace damaged body parts or lost organs by transplanting supportive scaffolds with appropriate cells that in combination with biomolecules generate new tissue. This is a
... hly interdisciplinary field that encompasses polymer synthesis and modification, cell culturing, gene therapy, stem cell research, therapeutic cloning and tissue engineering. In this regard, chitosan, as a biopolymer derived macromolecular compound, has a major involvement. Chitosan is a polyelectrolyte with reactive functional groups, gel-forming capability, high adsorption capacity and biodegradability. In addition, it is innately biocompatible and non-toxic to living tissues as well as having antibacterial, antifungal and antitumor activity. These features highlight the suitability and extensive applications that chitosan has in medicine. Micro/nanoparticles and hydrogels are widely used in the design of chitosan-based therapeuticsystems. The chemical structure and relevant biological properties of chitosan for regenerative medicine have been summarized as well as the methods for the preparation of controlled drug release devices and their applications.