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Can Chitosan in Crab Shells Promote Healing?

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A sugar from crab and shrimp shells, known as chitosan, when combines with nanomaterials, could lead to applications that can lead to bone and wound healing, a recent study shows. This finding, published in the journal Science, shows that nanomaterials can be combined with chitosan and can be used in various structures and applications that can greatly benefit the biomedical field, especially those that lead to the enhancement of bone regeneration, wound healing and targeted drug delivery.


Chitosan is a sugar that’s most commonly derived from shrimp and crab shell waste and is popular for its biocompatible, biodegradable, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic and haemostatic properties. This makes it a primary candidate for a number of biomedical functions, if no longer for the truth that it has limited mechanical force. Researchers are working on setting up composites that combine chitosan with “nanofillers,” making the ensuing material stronger. An effective composite is one wherein the filler is well-dispersed inside the composite material, in order that it can interact strongly with chitosan.

Nanoparticles With Chitosan

Scientists are finding some success in combining bioactive glass nanoparticles with chitosan to improve synthetic bone grafts. Bioactive glass is a glass-ceramic biomaterial that binds well to physiological structures like bone. Bone cells have been observed to develop relatively swiftly and cover grafts made of bioactive glass and chitosan.

Graphene oxide has been used with chitosan to enhance “nanocarriers” that can provide medicinal drugs to target tissues, avoiding the negative effects that traditional medications can have on other tissues of the body.


Silver nanoparticles are now undergoing testing as nanofillers in blend with chitosan to improve wound dressings with antibacterial properties.

Additionally, haemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen through the body), silver nanoparticles and graphene were mixed with chitosan to develop a biosensor that may observe hydrogen peroxide, a dangerous toxic substance from industries.

More studies are needed. Focus should be on making improvements to the dispersion of nanofillers inside the chitosan matrix, the researchers say. How these composite materials degrade is another subject that wishes additional pursuit. Also, more studies are needed to have an understanding of how these composite substances interact with host tissues in the body and whether these materials can be sterilized using conventional approaches so that they are able to be utilized in clinical applications. According to the researchers, The vast opportunities shown by these materials, allied with their incredible nanotechnology potential, are expected to revolutionize the biomedical field in the near future.