Chitosan-based smart hybrid materials: a physico-chemical perspective†
Chitosan is one of the most studied cationic polysaccharides. Due to its unique characteristics of being water soluble, biocompatible, biodegradable, and non-toxic, this macromolecule is highly attractive for a broad range of applications. In addition, its complex behavior and the number of ways it interacts with different components in a system result in an astonishing variety of chitosan-based materials. Herein, we present recent advances in the field of chitosan-based materials from a physico-chemical perspective, with focus on aqueous mixtures with oppositely charged colloids, chitosan-based thin films, and nanocomposite systems. In this review, we focus our attention on the physico-chemical properties of chitosan-based materials, including solubility, mechanical resistance, barrier properties, and thermal behaviour, and provide a link to the chemical peculiarities of chitosan, such as its intrinsic low solubility, high rigidity, large charge separation, and strong tendency to form intra- and inter-molecular hydrogen bonds.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Celebrating International Women’s Day: Women in Materials Science, 10th Anniversary: Dedicated Authors, 10th Anniversary: Most popular articles, Journal of Materials Chemistry B Recent Review Articles and 2021 Journal of Materials Chemistry B most popular articles