In recent years, considerable attention has been given to functional biomaterials (BMs) for their potential applications in the biomedical field. Among them, the biopolymer chitosan (CTS) has been receiving increasing attention. Owing to its unique and appealing biological properties, such as biocompatibility, tunable biodegradability, antimicrobial, and wound healing activity, it is considered suitable for biomedical applications. CTS and its derivatives are promising candidates as a supporting material for tissue engineering applications due to their porous structure, gel forming properties, ease of chemical modification and high affinity to in vivo macromolecules. These BMs showed great potential due to their polyelectrolyte properties, the presence of reactive functional groups, high adsorption capacity, and anti-tumor effect. Remarkably, the application of CTS has been gaining attention in the regenerative medicine due to its structural similarity to glycosaminoglycans, which are components of a tissue’s extracellular matrix.
In this context, this review provides the recent development in potential applications of CTS and its derivatives in different domains of biomedicine, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). The applications of CTS and their derivatives are discussed with particular emphasis on tissue engineering, drug and gene delivery, wound healing, antimicrobial, anti-tumor activities and in personal care products. This review also discusses the various attributes of CTS required in biomedical and pharmaceutical applications.