Background: Bio-based materials, as the plentiful and renewable resources for
natural constituents which are essential for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, have
not been exploited adequately yet. Chitosan is a naturally occurring polysaccharide obtained
from chitin, which has recently attracted widespread attention owing to its excellent activity.
This review shows the methods of extraction and modification of chitosan and provides recent
progress of synthesis and use of chitosan-based materials in biological applications.
Methods: By consulting the research literature of the last decade, the recent progresses of
functional chitosan-based materials for biological applications were summarized and divided
into the methods of extraction chitosan, the chemical modification of chitosan, chitosan-based
materials for biological applications were described and discussed.
Results: Chemical modification of chitosan broadens its applications, leading to developing
numerous forms of chitosan-based materials with excellent properties. The excellent bioactivity
of chitosan-based material enables it serves potential applications in biomedical fields.
Conclusion: Chitosan-based materials not only exhibit the excellent activities of chitosan but
also show other appealing performance of combined materials, even give the good synergistic
properties of chitosan and its composite materials. Further studies are needed to define the
ideal physicochemical properties of chitosan for each type of biomedical applications. The
development of various functional chitosan-based materials for biological applications will be
an important field of research, and this kind of material has important commercial value.