|Superclasses:||all carbohydrates → a carbohydrate → a glycan → a polysaccharide → a structural polysaccharide → chitosan|
|all carbohydrates → a carbohydrate → a glycan → a polysaccharide → an exopolysaccharide → chitosan|
Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide composed of randomly distributed β-(1-4)-linked D-glucosamine and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine units. Chitosan is found in the cell walls of some phytopathogenic fungi. The natural occuring chitosan has a degree of acetylation between 20-30%, with the acetyl residues grouped into clusters.
Chitosan is mostly produced commercially by deacetylation of chitin , which is the structural element in the exoskeleton of crustaceans. The most popular technique for obtaining chitosan is alkaline deacetylation of chitin: this involves boiling chitin in concentrated alkali (50% w/v) for several hours. This process also yields chitosan with a degree of acetylation between 20-30%. However, in such a chitosan, unlike the naturally occurring chitosan, the acetyl groups are uniformly distributed along the polymer chain.
Completely de-acetylated forms of chitosan do not exist naturally, but can be synthesized by special chemical treatment.
Child Classes: N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminyl-(1→4)-D-glucosamine (0)
Unification Links: PubChem:25202117
Aam10: Aam BB, Heggset EB, Norberg AL, Sorlie M, Varum KM, Eijsink VG (2010). "Production of chitooligosaccharides and their potential applications in medicine." Mar Drugs 8(5);1482-517. PMID: 20559485
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