This project involves a controlled and well-characterized material process development for the preparation of carboxymethyl chitin and chitosan derivatives for applications in the biomedical area. Chitin and Chitosan are known to be natural biopolymers and are non-toxic, biodegradable and biocompatible. In the last decade, chitin and chitosan derivatives have become the focus of interest in biomedical and biopharmaceutical research. Being biocompatible polymers, they find applications as biomaterials for tissue engineering and wound healing, and as excipients for drug delivery.
Introducing small chemical groups to the chitin or chitosan structure, for instance alkyl or carboxymethyl groups, can drastically increase the solubility of chitin and chitosan at neutral and alkaline pH values without affecting its character; substitution with moieties bearing carboxyl groups can yield polymers with polyampholytic properties. The carboxymethyl derivatives of chitin and chitosan has lots of applications such as, adsorbing metal ions, drug delivery systems, wound healing, antimicrobial, tissue engineering, cosmetics, food and antitumour activities.