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Improving Polysaccharide-Based Chitin/Chitosan-Aerogel Materials by Learning from Genetics and Molecular Biology

Improved wound healing of burnt skin and skin lesions, as well as medical implants and replacement products, requires the support of synthetical matrices. Yet, producing synthetic biocompatible matrices that exhibit specialized flexibility, stability, and biodegradability is challenging. Synthetic chitin/chitosan matrices may provide the desired advantages for producing specialized grafts but must be modified to improve their properties. Synthetic chitin/chitosan hydrogel and aerogel techniques provide the advantages for improvement with a bioinspired view adapted from the natural molecular toolbox. To this end, animal genetics provide deep knowledge into which molecular key factors decisively influence the properties of natural chitin matrices. The genetically identified proteins and enzymes control chitin matrix assembly, architecture, and degradation. Combining synthetic chitin matrices with critical biological factors may point to the future direction with engineering materials of specific properties for biomedical applications such as burned skin or skin blistering and extensive lesions due to genetic diseases.

Publication date: 28/01/2022

Author: Matthias Behr

Reference: doi: 10.3390/ma15031041

MDPI (materials)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.