Chitosan (CS) is a polymer obtained from chitin, being this, after the cellulose, the most abundant polysaccharide. The fact of (i) CS being obtained from renewable sources; (ii) CS to possess capability for doing interactions with different moieties being such capability dependent of pH; (iii) plenty of possibilities for chemical modification of CS; and (iv) tuning the final properties of CS derivatives makes this polymer very interesting in academic and technological points of view. In this way, hydrogels based on CS and on CS derivatives have been widely used for biomedical applications. Other important technological applications can be also cited, such as adsorbent of metals and dyes in wastewater from industrial effluents. In pharmaceutical field, hydrogels based on CS are often used as drugs’ and proteins’ carrier formulations due to the inherent characteristics such as the biocompatibility, nontoxicity, hydrophilicity, etc. This chapter is an attempt for updating and joining the plenty of available information regarding the preparation, characterization, and biomedical application of hydrogels based on chitosan and chitosan derivatives. More than 260 references are provided, being the majority of them published in the last 10 years.
Part of the book: Hydrogels