Due to its intractable structure and inherent insoluble nature, chitin was for a long time an underutilized resource. The increasing interest in the use of chitin as a source of nanostructured materials is quite recent. This review provides the latest advances in different ways to isolate or fabricate chitin nano-objects – chitin nanocrystals (CHNC) and chitin nanofibers (CHNF) – from different chitin sources. It also summarizes the chronology of some important scientific advances on chitin research during its 200 years of history. Additionally, engineered composite materials based on chitin nano-objects are reviewed.

This paper was originally published in European Polymer Journal 68 (2015) Pages 503–515.

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