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Chitin Nanocrystals: Environmentally Friendly Materials for the Development of Bioactive Films

Biobased nanomaterials have gained growing interest in recent years for the sustainable development of composite films and coatings, providing new opportunities and high-performance products. In particular, chitin and cellulose nanocrystals offer an attractive combination of properties, including a rod shape, dispersibility, outstanding surface properties, and mechanical and barrier properties, which make these nanomaterials excellent candidates for sustainable reinforcing materials. Until now, most of the research has been focused on cellulose nanomaterials; however, in the last few years, chitin nanocrystals (ChNCs) have gained more interest, especially for biomedical applications. Due to their biological properties, such as high biocompatibility, biodegradability, and antibacterial and antioxidant properties, as well as their superior adhesive properties and promotion of cell proliferation, chitin nanocrystals have emerged as valuable components of composite biomaterials and bioactive materials. This review attempts to provide an overview of the use of chitin nanocrystals for the development of bioactive composite films in biomedical and packaging systems.

Publication date: 25/01/2022

Author: Carolina Muñoz-Núñez

Reference: doi: 10.3390/coatings12020144

MDPI (coatings)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.