What is chitosan?

Chitosan (KY-tuh-sin) is a biopolymer produced from the chitin found in the exoskeletons of shrimp and other crustaceans, second only to cellulose in terms of natural abundance. Over the last few years, scientists have used chitosan in breakthrough solutions across a wide variety of markets and applications.


interacts with human tissue
without eliciting adverse effects


breaks down quickly when
exposed to common enzymes


naturally resistant to
bacteria, viruses and fungi


sticks easily to mucosa linings of the
mouth, lungs, intestines, etc.


generally recognized as safe (GRAS)
by the Food & Drug Admin


mediates the interruption of oxidative
stress on cells

Applications & Uses

What can chitosan do?


Chitosan can be used to create an absorbent, antibacterial gel used to stop bleeds (hemostasis) by creating a adhesive surface over an open wound—even for critical injuries to vital arteries.


Chitosan can be used in various forms (sponges, fibers, films, etc.) to create an implantable scaffold to encourage natural cell growth, used for the repair of tissue or the regeneration of bone and cartilage.


Chitosan can be used to create custom polymeric nanoparticles that enable time-released drug delivery carrier via various routes of administration, including non-parenteral (i.e. not digested) applications.


Chitosan can be used as a drug excipient (i.e. an inactive drug-delivery medium) with greater biocompatibility and transmucosal absorption than traditional rapid-release excipient substances.


Chitosan can be used to create a biodegradable plastic that can be molded, extruded or printed with high tensile strength—while also being able to fully decompose after only a few weeks.


Chitosan can be used to create biodegradable films that are naturally resistant to mold and other microbes, helping to potentially extend the shelf life of all kinds of perishable goods.


Chitosan can be used to create a highly effective flocculant (a solution that separates unwanted substances from a liquid) and has been shown to remove heavy metals like chromium and nickel from drinking water.

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