Chitosan in medical devices promotes healing and prevents infections, transforming patient care. This biocompatible, biodegradable, non-toxic, and non-immunogenic material has sparked extensive global research since the mid-1980s.

From wound care to drug delivery and tissue engineering to implants, chitosan helps improve patient outcomes. Well Shine Biopolymer, a mushroom-based chitosan, is a leader in this medical device transformation.


What is Chitosan?

Chitosan is a natural biopolymer made from chitin, the second most abundant natural polymer after cellulose. Chitin is found in:

  • Crustacean shells.
  • Fungal cell walls.

Chitosan is created by modifying chitin. The modification process, called deacetylation, involves removing some acetyl groups (CH3CO) from chitin, leaving free amino groups behind (NH2).

Molecular structure of D-glucosamine - basic unit of chitosan

The resulting chitosan consists of two types of building blocks:

  1. D-glucosamine (deacetylated unit)
  2. N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (acetylated unit)

These building blocks are randomly distributed along the chitosan polymer chain, forming a linear polysaccharide (a type of carbohydrate). The ratio of D-glucosamine to N-acetyl-D-glucosamine determines chitosan's degree of deacetylation (DD).

Free amino groups in D-glucosamine contribute to chitosan's unique properties, including:

  • Biocompatibility
  • Biodegradability
  • Bioactivity

Functional Properties of Chitosan

The degree of deacetylation (DD) and molecular weight (MW) can be adjusted during production of Well Shine’s Biopolymer, resulting in different functional properties:

  • Degree of Deacetylation (DD): Indicates the proportion of deacetylated units in the polymer chain. A high DD means more free amino groups to enhance bioactivity properties like wound healing and tissue regeneration.
  • Molecular Weight (MW): Reflects the size of the polymer chain. Lower MW reduces viscosity and improves solubility. Higher MW improves durability and film-forming ability.

These properties affect chitosan's physicochemical properties:

  • Solubility
  • Viscosity
  • Biological activity

Chitosan has a positive charge due to amino groups, which helps with:

  • Hemostasis: Chitosan's cationic property allows it to bind to negatively charged blood cells, activating platelets and promoting blood clotting. As a result, it is highly effective in controlling bleeding.
  • Antimicrobial Activity: Chitosan binds to microbial cell membranes, disrupting them and causing leakage.
  • Pain Control: Chitosan reduces inflammation and pain by absorbing proton ions (H+) released at the injury site.
  • Wound Healing: Chitosan promotes healing by activating cells and stimulating collagen synthesis.
  • Scar Prevention: Chitosan lowers the production of TNF-β1 and TNF-β2, which are linked to scarring. Also, collagen synthesized in the presence of chitosan forms fine fibrils instead of dense bands.
Chitosan Uses

Chitosan Uses in Medical Devices

Manufacturers use chitosan in external and implantable medical devices due to its biodegradable and biocompatible nature. Chitosan is an incredibly versatile biomaterial which can be processed into various forms:

  • Micro or Nano Fibers
  • Micro or Nano Gels
  • Beads
  • Films or Capsules
  • Sponges or Scaffolds
  • Micro or Nanoparticles
  • Hydrogels
  • Gauzes

As research expands the understanding of chitosan's potential, innovative products like Well Shine Biopolymer will continue to improve patient care outcomes.

Advantages of Well Shine Biopolymer for Medical Devices

Our mushroom chitosan offers an eco-friendly, traceable, and sustainable alternative to crustacean-derived chitosan. Here are its key advantages:

  • Biocompatibility: Our chitosan contains no animal proteins, ensuring optimal compatibility with human tissues and reducing adverse reactions or rejections.
  • No Heavy Metals: Unlike crustacean-derived chitosan, mushroom chitosan is free from toxic metals like nickel and copper, making it ideal for implants.
  • High Degree of Deacetylation (DD): The free amino groups boost antimicrobial activity, wound healing, and tissue regeneration - a valuable material for wound dressings, surgical sutures, and tissue engineering scaffolds.
  • Low Molecular Weight (MW) and Viscosity: Improve drug delivery systems. Low MW facilitates controlled release, while low viscosity improves bioavailability.
  • Increased Cell Viability: Beta-glucans further support cell growth and tissue regeneration, enhancing their potential in tissue engineering applications.
  • Continuous Supply: Mushroom cultivation doesn't rely on weather, seasons, or quotas. Well Shine reliably delivers to suppliers all year round.
  • Consistent Quality: Crustacean-derived chitosan can have inconsistent physical and chemical properties due to seasonal variability, affecting its biocompatibility. In contrast, mushroom chitosan is grown in controlled environments, offering consistent quality and reliability.
  • Mild Processing: Less harsh extraction of chitin results in purer, higher-quality chitosan, reducing the risk of impurities or contaminants.

With controlled production processes, we can fine-tune Well Shine Biopolymer properties, like molecular weight or degree of deacetylation, to suit specific medical device requirements. Our state-of-the-art facilities can scale chitosan production from niche lab applications to mass production.

As research continues to uncover mushroom chitosan's full potential in medical devices, Well Shine Biopolymer is poised to revolutionize patient care and improve outcomes across a wide range of medical applications.

Applications in Medical Devices

Chitosan's unique properties make it an excellent choice for various applications in medical devices, including:

  • Wound Dressings
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Surgical Sutures

Chitosan Wound Dressings

Chitosan is perfect in a wide range of medical dressings. Its hemostatic action rapidly absorbs blood plasma, which helps concentrate red blood cells and platelets at the injury site, controlling bleeding effectively and promoting clot formation.

Chitosan speeds up healing and protects wounds by:

  • Accelerates Healing: Promotes re-epithelialization (growth of new skin cells) and inhibits the proliferation of keratinocytes (skin cells) for rapid wound closure.
  • Enhances Cell Growth: Stimulates proliferation of fibroblast (connective tissue cells) for a strong extracellular matrix.
  • Antimicrobial Shield: Protects the wound from infection by disrupting bacterial cell walls and causing leakage.
  • Inhibits Bacterial Growth: Hinders bacterial mRNA and protein synthesis, preventing their growth and spread.
  • Non-cytotoxicity characteristics: By being antibacterial without being cytotoxic, chitosan benefits healing and does no harm to surrounding tissues.
  • Reduces Pain and Inflammation: Reduces discomfort by absorbing inflammatory substances and blocking cytokines (inflammation triggers).
  • Collagen Support: Boosts collagen synthesis, providing a strong structural foundation for the healing tissue.
  • Moisturizing: Chitosan’s moisturizing properties further promote wound healing by supporting all of the above points.

Additional Advantages:

  • Biocompatibility: Chitosan is non-toxic and compatible with the body, minimizing the risk of adverse reactions and promoting natural healing.
  • Versatile Formulations: Prepared in diverse forms, including membranes, gels, sponges, and films, adapting to different wound types and healing stages.
  • Moisture Retention: Maintains an ideal environment for tissue repair and regeneration.

Chitosan Drug Delivery Systems

Chitosan's versatility allows advanced drug delivery systems with precise control over release and targeting. Chitosan-based nanoparticles, hydrogels, and microparticles act as intelligent drug carriers. They prolong therapeutic effects, reduce the frequency of administration, and improve patient compliance.

  • Mucoadhesive Properties: Prolong contact time between the drug and targeted mucus membranes, improving their effectiveness and bioavailability.
  • Sustained and Controlled Release: Encapsulates active ingredients for prolonged therapeutic effect and improved patient compliance.
  • Enhanced Delivery: Chitosan's positive charge interacts with negatively charged cell membranes, improving drug delivery to target cells. This targeted delivery reduces side effects and boosts efficacy.
  • Safe Biodegradation: The drug delivery system is safely eliminated from the body after releasing the encapsulated substance.

Well Shine Biopolymer takes it to the next level, offering enhanced biocompatibility, stability, and versatility that could transform the pharmaceutical landscape.

Tissue Engineering

Chitosan scaffolds transform tissue engineering because they support cell growth and differentiation. Their porous structure lets cells infiltrate, stick, and multiply. Chitosan's biocompatibility means these scaffolds integrate seamlessly with surrounding tissue without causing an immune response. Here's how they work:

  • Bone Tissue Regeneration: Chitosan scaffolds promote osteoblast differentiation and mineralization in bone engineering. They increase key bone markers like alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and collagen type I. Combining with growth factors like BMP-2 supercharges bone healing, making them ideal for treating bone defects and fractures.
  • Cartilage Repair: Chitosan scaffolds support the growth of cartilage cells and the production of cartilage matrix. This helps form functional cartilage tissue, offering hope for conditions like osteoarthritis.
  • Infection Prevention: Chitosan's antimicrobial properties help prevent scaffold infections. Incorporating antibiotics or silver nanoparticles provides sustained protection against bacterial growth, enhancing the success of tissue regeneration.
  • Vascularization: Adequate blood supply is crucial in tissue engineering. Chitosan scaffolds promote the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). These scaffolds stimulate vascular network growth by incorporating angiogenic factors or co-culturing with endothelial cells. It improves nutrient and oxygen delivery for better tissue integration and survival.

Well Shine Biopolymer's high DD, low MW, and high beta-glucan content offer exceptional biocompatibility, cell adhesion, and mechanical properties. These features make it ideal for creating scaffolds that mimic the native extracellular matrix, promoting seamless integration and faster tissue regeneration.

Chitosan Surgical Sutures and Materials

Chitosan-based surgical sutures and materials outperform traditional options, enhancing patient outcomes.

  • Antimicrobial Properties: Chitosan sutures naturally reduce the risk of surgical site infections.
  • Faster Wound Healing: They stimulate collagen synthesis and fibroblast proliferation, promoting quicker healing.
  • Biodegradability: Chitosan sutures don't need to be removed, reducing patient discomfort and the risk of secondary infections. As they degrade, they release N-acetyl-β-D-glucosamine, which further enhances wound healing.
  • Versatile Applications: Surgical meshes and membranes used in hernia repair and guided tissue regeneration benefit from chitosan's properties, improving healing and integration.
  • Hemostatic and Anti-inflammatory: Chitosan is excellent for surgical sponges and hemostatic agents, rapidly stopping bleeding during surgeries, reducing blood loss, and keeping patients safe.

Chitosan-based materials significantly improve surgical outcomes and patient safety. With its safe and healing properties, Well Shine Biopolymer enhances the care provided in medical practice.


Innovate with Well Shine Biopolymer

Speak with a chitosan expert. Learn how we can help your medical device.