Chitin: Fulfilling a Biomaterials Promise


  • Eugene Khor, Chiticore Enterprises Inc.,Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Eugene Khor, Chiticore Enterprises Inc.,Victoria, BC, Canada

So far little has been discussed on the groundwork necessary for chitin to claim its rightful place as a biomaterial. This book aims to describe the factors necessary to standardize chitin processing and characterization. It attempts to capture the essential interplay between chitin's assets and its limitations as a biomaterial, placing the past promises of chitin in perspective, addressing its present realities and limitations as a biomaterial and offering an insight into what is required for chitin, and its derivative chitosan, to fulfil its potential as a biomaterial of the 21st Century.
The ongoing search for alternative and better ways to treat medical problems is filled with challenges and opportunities. When replacing body parts with artificial substitutes, state-of-the art technology developments such as Tissue Engineering are fuelling the quest for better biomaterials that can meet a myriad of challenges. Central to this goal is the potential for the utilization of materials from nature. Amongst the possible candidates, chitin has been poised to be one such natural material which could be the answer to a variety of needs in the biomedical field. According to researchers, chitin possesses capabilities as a wound dressing, in bone substitutes and in drug delivery carriers, abilities which have evoked great enthusiasm. However this excitement is accompanied by confusion and lack of consensus, and this book also attempts to address these issues.
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For both the industrialists and researchers interested in commercializing chitin.


Book information

  • Published: October 2001
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-08-044018-7


"The book will serve people to become familiar with this particular area of biopolymer research and application and provides also practitioners and experts useful information in the field."
Thomas Heinze, Bergische Universität, Germany, POLYMER NEWS

"...a book well worth consulting if chitin and chitosan play, or could play, any role in a readers medical technology interests."
D.F. Williams, University of Liverpool, Biomaterials, 23

Table of Contents

Chapter headings. Table of contents. Dedication. Preface. The Relevance Of Chitin. Chitin: from then to now. Definitions. Obscurity. From waste to niche materials. Biomedical applications. References. Chitin Biomedical Applications. Biomedical technology. Wound dressings. Chitin-based wound dressings. Chitin-based wound dressings patents. Chitin-blood interactions. Bone substitutes. Chitin-based bone substitutes. Chitin-based bone substitutes patents. Tissue engineering. Drug delivery. Chitin-based drug delivery systems. General forms. Microspheres. Chitin-based drug delivery patents. Relevance of chitin biomedical applications. References. Chitin As A Biomaterial.Biomaterials. Chitin's role as a biomaterial. Bio-stable chitin. Biodegradable-chitin. Biosynthesis and biodegradation of chitin in nature. Biodegradation of chitin in humans. Implications of in vitro enzyme biodegradation studies on chitin to humans and biomedical applications. Biodegradation lifetime and fate of biodegradation products. Inference. References. Biocompatibility Issues. What is biocompatibility? Is chitin really biocompatible? Survey of the biocompatibility studies on chitin. Outstanding matters. References. The Sources And Production Of Chitin. Sources of chitin. Chitin production. Isolation of chitin. Isolation of chitin from shellfish. Demineralizaton . Deproteinization. Deacetylation of chitin into chitosan. Physical appearance. Isolation of chitin from algae and fungi. Consequence. References. The Structural Properties Of Chitin As It Is Known Today. Introduction. Solid-state structure. Characterization of chitin properties. Degree of N-Acetylation (DA)/Deacetylation (DD). Molecular weight determination. Outcome. References. The Chemistry Of Chitin As It Is Known Today .Motivation. Alkali-chitin. Tosyl-chitin. Direct reactions &bgr;-chitin. Chitosan. Fibers and gels. Random or block distribution of N-Acetyl groups during deacetylation reactionsoligomerization by chemical and enzymatic means. Chemical synthesis. Implications. References. The Regulatory Road To Approval For Chitin.The patient is first. Chitin's regulatory status. Identifiable targets.Current good manufacturing practices (CGMP). Medical device design and prototyping. Biological evaluation of medical devices. Sterility issues. Role of the scientist. Outlook. References. Too Late The Hero?Situation assessment. Mission requirements. Competition from other biopolymers. Hyaluronic acid. Collagen. Chondroitin sulfate.Can chitin compete?Significance of the US-FDA approval process.Epitaph or glory? References. Appendix I. Appendix II. Appendix III. Subject index.