Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Chitosan, a derivative of the natural polysaccharide chitin, is known for its biocompatibility and metal-binding capacity. The aim of this study was to combine these two properties of chitosan and investigate its potential as a new iron (III) ion (ferric ion) adsorbing agent. The development of a safe and orally active iron chelating agent is especially important for the treatment of thalassemics. In this study, the physicochemical parameters affecting the ability of chitosan flakes to adsorb iron (III) ions were studied by complexometric titration. The results showed that the iron (III) adsorption capacity of chitosan increases with the amount of chitosan, degree of deacetylation of chitosan, concentration of ferric ions in solution and with the pH of the medium. The amount of ferric ions that adsorb on the polymer increases with time until an equilibrium is reached between adsorbed iron (III) ions and those in solution. Preliminary in vitro results obtained in human blood serum indicate that chitosan is capable of adsorbing iron (III) ions in the body fluid medium and may be a suitable iron-adsorbing agent in biological systems.


chitin, chitosan, iron-chelation, iron-adsorption, thalassemia.

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