Chitosan-based Biomaterials: Introduction

  • Chitosan is a natural polymer derived from chitin, the second most abundant polysaccharide after cellulose. Chitosan is soluble in aqueous solutions and organic acids due to the presence of amino groups in chitosan structure.
  • Chitosan is known for its biodegradable, non-toxic, and antibacterial properties. It is used in several applications in biomedical, agriculture, food, cosmetics, and waste & water treatment industries. It is also used as antimicrobial and wound healing biomaterial in biomedical applications.

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Production of Chitosan-based Biomaterials

  • Chitosan is a polysaccharide produced from chitin. Molecular weight of chitosan typically ranges between 300 to 1000 kDa (Kilo Daltons) depending on the source of chitin. Major sources of chitosan are insects, crustaceans, squid, diatoms, and fungi.
  • Chitosan is a copolymer of N-acetyl-D-glucose amine and D-glucose amine. Production of chitosan involves four steps: demineralization, deproteinization, decolorization, and deacetylation. Chitosan is generally extracted from crustacean shells such as crab and shrimp.  These shells consist of 30%-40% proteins, 30%-50% calcium carbonate, and 20%-30% chitin.
  • In the first step of deproteinization, crustacean shells are processed in 3.5% NaOH (w/v) for two hours at 65°C to remove proteins inside the shell. After that, they are processed in hydrochloric acid at room temperature to extract unwanted minerals such as calcium carbonate. Colors present in the shells are then removed with the help of acetone and further bleached with sodium hypochlorite solution for five minutes at room temperature. During the deacetylation process, chitin undergoes a treatment with lye to separate the acetyl groups from the polymer, resulting in formation of chitosan.

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Key Drivers of Chitosan-based Biomaterials Market

  • Biodegradability and nontoxic properties of chitosan make it ideal for usage in agricultural applications. Chitosan helps enhance the amount of crops produced by improving germination, rooting, leaf growth, seed yield, and soil moisture retention. If ingested, it neither harms any individual nor has any negative impact to the environment. The Government of India launched Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) in 2015 with an objective to improve irrigation sources in drought affected areas by investing US$ 7.7 Bn for a period of five years. This scheme is expected to benefit the market of products that can improve agricultural productivity such as chitosan.
  • Increase in private investments in agriculture companies of China is estimated to boost the agricultural produce in the country in the next few years
  • India has one of the major agriculture industries after China. Increase in population in both these countries is estimated to boost the demand for agricultural products, thereby increasing the sales of chitosan-based biomaterials.
  • Demand for chitosan-based biomaterials is also driven by growth in the water treatment industry. Demand for clean drinking water has been rising owing to the increase in population in countries such as China, India, and Bangladesh in Asia Pacific. Countries such as India and China are facing issues related to water pollution. The Government of India launched the Namami Gange project in 2016 to clean the polluted rivers of the country. The government announced the budget of US$ 105 Mn under the Namami Gange project for 2020 to 2021. This is estimated to boost the consumption of water treatment compounds, thereby increasing the demand for chitosan-based biomaterials in the country.
  • Chitosan-based biomaterials are used in various application in the medical industry such as orthopedic & periodontal applications, cancer diagnosis, tissue engineering, wound healing, and drug delivery. Cancer diagnosis is a significant step, since it provides some information about treatment effectiveness. Chitosan is used as non-toxic carrier of anti-cancer drugs to tumor tissue. New developments in biomedical applications are estimated to augment the chitosan-based biomaterials market.

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Covid-19 Impact on Chitosan-based Biomaterials Market

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a marginal impact on end-use industries of chitosan-based biomaterials. Majority of demand for chitosan-based biomaterials is generated in biomedical, water treatment, and agriculture industries. Demand for agricultural products such as food grains, fruits, and vegetables has surged due to panic buying among consumers.  In cities around the world, reports of panic buying and food hoarding have proliferated since the pandemic began. Increase in consumption of food products and clean drinking water during the lockdown period has positively impacted the sales of chitosan-based biomaterials.

North America to Hold Significant Share of Global Chitosan-based Biomaterials Market

  • In terms of region, the global chitosan-based biomaterials market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
  • Currently, North America and Europe are the major regions of the global chitosan-based biomaterials market. The market in these regions is expected to expand at a faster pace owing to growth in biomedical and agriculture industries.
  • Asia Pacific is another major consumer and producer of chitosan-based biomaterials. Increase in sale of agricultural products in Asia Pacific is likely to further boost the chitosan-based biomaterials market in the region.

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Key Players Operating in Global Market

Key players operating in the global chitosan-based biomaterials market include:

  • BioLog Heppe GmbH
  • Biosynth Carbosynth
  • Heppe Medical Chitosan GmbH
  • Tokyo Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.
  • Toronto Research Chemicals
  • Siveele B.V.
  • KIMICA Corporation
  • ISF Chitin & Marine Products LLP
  • PRIMEX EHF
  • Marshall Marine Product

Global Chitosan-based Biomaterials Market: Research Scope

Global Chitosan-based Biomaterials Market, by Application

  • Biomedical
  • Agriculture
  • Nutraceutical & Dietary Supplements
  • Wastewater Treatment
  • Food & Beverages
  • Others

Global Chitosan-based Biomaterials Market, by Source

  • Insects
  • Crustaceans
  • Squid
  • Diatom
  • Fungi
  • Others

This study by TMR is all-encompassing framework of the dynamics of the market. It mainly comprises critical assessment of consumers’ or customers’ journeys, current and emerging avenues, and strategic framework to enable CXOs take effective decisions.