Synthesis and characterization of functional chitosans
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As an important type of bio-derived polysaccharide, chitosan has attracted broad and significant interest over the past two decades. Chitosan is biocompatible, biodegradable, non-toxic, and inexpensive. A large number of published studies have shown that chitosan can serve as a scaffold for gene and drug delivery. However, its biomedical applications have been considerably restricted by its low solubility and limited functionality. Therefore, this thesis aims to provide a general strategy for the synthesis of functional chitosans with modified solubility and diverse functionalities. The preparation of N-maleic chitosan (MCS) samples with different substitution degrees and the subsequent conversion of N-maleic chitosan to a variety of functional chitosans via thiol-ene reactions will be addressed in this thesis. Characterization and property studies of MCS and other functional chitosans will also be discussed.