Chitosan and its antimicrobial potential--a critical literature survey.
Bottom Line: The term 'chitosan' describes a heterogeneous group of polymers combining a group of physicochemical and biological characteristics, which allow for a wide scope of applications that are both fascinating and as yet uncharted.However, understanding the various factors that affect its antimicrobial activity has become a key issue for a better usage and a more efficient optimization of chitosan formulations.Moreover, the use of chitosan in antimicrobial systems should be based on sufficient knowledge of the complex mechanisms of its antimicrobial mode of action, which in turn would help to arrive at an appreciation of its entire antimicrobial potential.
Affiliation: Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology (IMMIP), Pharmaceutical Microbiology Unit, University of Bonn, D-53115 Bonn, Germany. email@example.comShow MeSH
Mentions: Chitosan is primarily produced from chitin, which is widely distributed in nature, mainly as the structural component of the exoskeletons of arthropods (including crustaceans and insects), in marine diatoms and algae, as well as in some fungal cell walls. Structurally, chitin is an insoluble linear mucopolysaccharide (Fig. 1) consisting of N‐acetyl‐d‐glucosamine (GlcNAc) repeat units, linked by β‐(1→4) glycosidic bonds (Tharanathan and Kittur, 2003). Technically, the structure of chitin is highly related to that of cellulose and may be regarded as cellulose where the hydroxyl [—OH] at the C‐2 position is replaced by an acetamido [—NHCOCH3] group (Suzuki, 2000).
Affiliation: Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology (IMMIP), Pharmaceutical Microbiology Unit, University of Bonn, D-53115 Bonn, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org