Chitosan is the second-most abundant natural polysaccharide. It has unique characteristics, such as biodegradability, biocompatibility, and non-toxicity. Due to the existence of its free amine group and hydroxyl groups on its backbone chain, chitosan can undergo further chemical modifications to generate chitosan derivatives (CDs) that permit additional biomedical functionality. Chitosan and CDs can be fabricated into various forms, including nanoparticles (NPs), micelles, hydrogels, nanocomposites and nanochelates. For these reasons, chitosan and CDs have found a tremendous variety of biomedical applications in recent years. This paper mainly presents the prominent applications of chitosan and CDs for cancer therapy/diagnosis, molecule biosensing, viral infection, and tissue engineering over the past five years. Moreover, future research directions on chitosan are also considered.
Keywords: chitosan, chitosan derivatives, nanoparticles, hydrogel, cancer therapy, diagnosis, virus infection, tissue engineering
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