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Brendan Eckardt

Purification of Chitosan for Use in Injectabe Bioactive Glass Systems

Departments: Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Himanshu Jain

The process of purifying chitosan powder was explored in order to produce a highly deacetylated sample for use in the development of injectable bioactive glass systems containing dual macro-nano-porosity. The process followed a two-step procedure of recrystallization and deacetylation, after which FTIR spectroscopy and acid base titration were employed as means of characterization. Although freeze-drying was called for to dry the recrystallized samples, this method could not be employed. Samples were instead vacuum dried, resulting in the formation of tough chitosan flakes instead of a fine powder. FTIR determination of the degree of deacetylation gave values differing by 25% for identical samples and baseline. It is believed that this large variation is due to the presence of water still present within the chitosan. Furthermore, the stock chitosan itself only has a guaranteed DD of 75-85%, which could contribute to the variation seen. Acid-base titration resulted in a degree of deacetylation of 71.2 ±5.34% for the stock chitosan. It is recommended that another characterization method be used to validate the results of titration.

About Brendan Eckardt:
Brendan is a junior year IDEAS major at Lehigh University pursuing a degree in integrated materials science and engineering and chemistry. Since January of 2014 he has been working under Dr. Jain of the International Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glass. Brendan’s research is centered on using bioactive glass powder to make an injectable paste capable of regenerating bone tissue in humans. In addition to his research and academics, he is an active member of the Lehigh Ultimate Frisbee Club.