Chitin (CT), the well-known natural biopolymer and chitosan (CS) (bio-based or "artificial polymer") are non-toxic, biodegradable and biocompatible in nature. The advantages of these biomaterials are such that, they can be easily processed into different forms such as membranes, sponges, gels, scaffolds, microparticles, nanoparticles and nanofibers for a variety of biomedical applications such as drug delivery, gene therapy, tissue engineering and wound healing. Present review focuses on the diverse applications of CT and CS membranes and scaffolds for drug delivery, tissue engineering and targeted regenerative medicine. The chitinous scaffolds of marine sponges' origin are discussed here for the first time. These CT based scaffolds obtained from Porifera possess remarkable and unique properties such as hydration, interconnected channels and diverse structural architecture. This review will provide a brief overview of CT and CS membranes and scaffolds toward different kinds of delivery applications such as anticancer drug delivery, osteogenic drug delivery, and growth factor delivery, because of their inimitable release behavior, degradation profile, mucoadhesive nature, etc. The review also provides an overview of the key features of CT and CS membranes and scaffolds such as their biodegradability, cytocompatibility and mechanical properties toward applications in tissue engineering and wound healing.
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A. Anitha, Sowmya, S., Kumar, P. T. S., Deepthi, S., Chennazhi, K. P., Ehrlich, H., Tsurkan, M., and Jayakumar, R., “Chitin and chitosan in selected biomedical applications”, Progress in Polymer Science, vol. 39, pp. 1644-1667, 2014.