Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Biomedical Engineering

Advisor

Zaharoff, David

Abstract

Chitosan is a derivative of chitin, a biopolymer found in the exoskeletons of crustaceans. Chitosan is under heavy investigation in the field of drug delivery due to its wide versatility. One such delivery mechanism is the use of hydrogels in cancer immunotherapy delivery. The viscosity of chitosan in its use as a hydrogel depends on the length of chitosan’s N-acetyl D-glucosamine chains, which in turn determines the molecular weight of chitosan. Because there is such a wide range of viscosity in a typical sample of chitosan, there is a need for a simple technique to fractionate the chitosan based on its viscosity. A precipitation technique was developed for fractionation using sodium hydroxide. There was an obvious difference in viscosity in two of the four samples tested. Because of the low quality of the chitosan purchased, the results for the other two samples were inconclusive.

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