Chitin and chitosan as multipurpose natural polymers for groundwater arsenic removal and As2O3 delivery in tumor therapy

Letizia Da Sacco, Andrea Masotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chitin and chitosan are natural polysaccharide polymers. These polymers have been used in several agricultural, food protection and nutraceutical applications. Moreover, chitin and chitosan have been also used in biomedical and biotechnological applications as drug delivery systems or in pharmaceutical formulations. So far, there are only few studies dealing with arsenic (As) removal from groundwater using chitin or chitosan and no evidence of the use of these natural polymers for arsenic trioxide (As2O3) delivery in tumor therapy. Here we suggest that chitin and/or chitosan might have the right properties to be employed as efficient polymers for such applications. Besides, nanotechnology offers suitable tools for the fabrication of novel nanostructured materials of natural origin. Since different nanostructured materials have already been employed successfully in various multidisciplinary fields, we expect that the integration of nanotechnology and natural polymer chemistry will further lead to innovative applications for environment and medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1518-1525
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Arsenic remediation
  • Arsenic trioxide
  • Chitin
  • Chitosan
  • Tumor therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Medicine(all)

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