Why Chitosan Is the Biopolymer of the Future in Pharmaceuticals, Medicine and Biomedicine

Chitosan is the marine polysaccharide that powers Primex products. Proven to be a highly efficient natural, bioactive fibrous polymer, chitosan has over 400 applications, including in the pharmaceutical, medical and biomedical industries.

Pharmaceutical applications of chitosan date back to the 1980s and it has mainly been used as a drug delivery system or for pharmaceutical formulation. The later development of chitosan derivatives, such as chitosan powder, helped expand chitosan's possible applications while also lowering its toxicity.  As pure chitosan has no antigenic properties, it has excellent biocompatibility with living tissues, making it a suitable alternative to potentially toxic compounds. 

Chitosan's bioactivities, including its hemostatic and antithrombogenic properties, make it appropriate and safe for use in the fields of pharmaceuticals, medicine and biomedicine. Furthermore, in recent years, drug delivery systems based on polysaccharides have revolutionized medical treatments due to their efficient and proper transport of drugs, nutrients and oxygen. As chitosan manufacturers, we recognize how pure chitosan powder or other pure chitosan products have great potential in such fields.

Some chitosan applications: 

  • antimicrobial applications 
  • pharmaceutical formulation 
  • gene delivery and therapy 
  • controlled drug release 
  • wound healing 
  • regenerative medicine 
  • tissue engineering 
  • anticancer treatment, therapy and diagnostic strategy 
  • vaccine delivery 
  • dermatology 
  • ophthalmology 
  • dentistry 
  • veterinary applications 

Chitosan in veterinary medicine 

Chitosan has been reviewed to have applications in veterinary medicine , including wound healing , bone regeneration, and analgesic and antimicrobial effects. Areas such as veterinary drug delivery can benefit from chitosan to deliver antibiotics, anaesthetics, painkillers, antiparasitics and more. Nanoparticles can be used in drug delivery, vaccine formulation and diagnostics. In addition, chitosan can help replace potentially toxic compounds with natural compounds.  

Primex products in this category include ChitoCare Medical devices , which utilize chitosan's film-forming, protective and healing properties. As a functional polysaccharide, chitosan becomes positively charged under mild acidic conditions, rendering it bioadhesive. It can adhere to intact or breached skin as a protective film to confer important biological properties. It protects the skin from bacteria and infection, reduces redness, inflammation and irritation with its cooling effect, simultaneously maintaining moisture and promoting the skin's natural repair process. 

Other medical uses of chitosan 

Chitosan, whether pure chitosan powder or other formats , can also have applications for use in many other medical fields, such as:

  • regenerative medicine
  • tissue engineering
  • dentistry
  • ophthalmology
  • dermatology

For example, it can stimulate cell proliferation when used as a scaffold for cell culture, it can support nerve repair for tissue engineering approaches for peripheral nerve reconstruction, and it can promote tissue growth, repair and regeneration for use in tissue remodeling and other dermatological processes. Thanks to its transfection enhancing properties, chitosan is also effective in gene transfer technology. 

Chitosan can also be used in dental implants and contact lenses, or as surgical threads, bandages or sponges. As a scaffold, it can be used in bone regeneration and, as it is biocompatible and biodegradable, it works as a material in implants, blood substitutes or vessels, or as a wound dressing material.  

Furthermore, chitosan can work as an anti-tumor agent or tumor inhibitor, it can have applications in treating leukemia or diabetes, and helps with blood or liver cholesterol control, making it an excellent ally in weight management or for use in dietary supplements.  

What forms can chitosan be used in? 

Chitosan and its derivatives may be used as tablets, gels, solutions, fibers, films, and sponges, among other forms. This makes chitosan ideal for use in oral, nasal, ocular, vaginal, buccal, parenteral, intravesical, and transdermal administration. It can also be used as implants for drug delivery in both implantable and injectable forms. 

Primex has been a chitosan producer for over 20 years and provides its customers with pure, high-quality chitosan powder, while other chitosan formats can also be developed. 

  • Chitosan-based hydrogels can have applications in pharmaceutical and biomedical uses, including drug delivery for wound dressings 
  • Chitosan encapsulation of sensitive drugs can increase and modulate drug release rate, releasing their contents, such a proteins, antibiotics, vaccines and peptides, at the desired rate and location in the body 
  • Chitosan films and fibers can be developed for tissue engineering, wound care, and water-resistant adhesives 
  • Chitosan can restore or replace damaged body parts or lost organs by combining biomolecules with supportive cell scaffolds to generate new tissue. Chitosan scaffolds can prove to be a useful alternative to synthetic cell scaffolds, for example for cartilage tissue engineering 

Further research into chitosan derivatives and nanoparticles is expanding chitosan applications even further, proving that chitosan really is the polymer of the future — and the possibilities are as exciting as they are significant to the future of medicine. If you would like to buy chitosan, chitosan powder in bulk, or discuss other chitosan formats, you can contact us so that we can assist you and help answer any questions you might have.