Service Project

Production and characterisation of chitosans with defined DP, FA and PA


About the Project

In this service project, we can prepare and provide:

  • a Codeχ-starter set of chitosans (mg amounts) to be used by partners interested in exploring the influence of DP, DA, and PA on any physico-chemical property or biological activity of chitosans – if this is interesting to you and you can contribute with your assay(s) to this comparative analysis, or if you can provide a special chitosan for the set, please contact Bruno Moerschbacher (
  • chitin polymers (crystalline, insoluble) from shrimp (alpha) and squid (beta), possibly also from fungi and insects (less pure)
  • chitosan polymers with different degrees of acetylation (DA) prepared by partial chemical N-acetylation of polyglucosamine and, hence, random pattern of acetylation (PA); if required, these may be prepared with different degrees of polymerisation (DP) (medium double-digit mg range)
  • chitosan polymers with different DAs and possibly DPs, prepared by enzymatic N-acetylation and, depending on the enzyme used, different non-random PAs (low double-digit mg range)
  • selected, fully defined, partially acetylated chitosan oligomers (e.g. all possible dimers, trimers, and tetramers, some pentamers and hexamers) prepared by partial enzymatic deacetylation of chitin oligomers or by partial enzymatic N-acetylation of glucosamine oligomers (single-digit mg range)
  • mixtures of partially acetylated chitosan oligomers with known DP and DA distribution and end-defined PA prepared by enzymatic depolymerization of chitosan polymers using chitosan hydrolases with known subsite specificities (up to g range)
  • chitin and chitosan affinity proteins (artificial lectins) tagged with different fluorescent tags
  • recombinant chitin and chitosan degrading enzymes (different chitinases, chitosanases, and chitin deacetylases)
  • chitosan beads (prepared by enzymatic surface deacetylation of chitin beads)

In terms of analysis, we can offer as a service:

  • structural analysis of chitosan polymer samples regarding their average DP and their dispersity Đ, their average DA, and their PA
  • sequencing of chitosan oligomers, i.e. determination of DP, DA, and PA (including in not too complex mixtures)
  • structural analysis of mixtures of chitosan polymers and oligomers (as e.g. often obtained during enzymatic digestion of chitosan polymers)
  • quantification and average DA analysis of chitosans in “simple” biological matrices (such as typical fungal cell walls)

In collaborations (e.g. when you send a doctoral candidate to us to perform analyses under the supervision of e.g. Dr. Stefan Cord-Landwehr or Dr. Ratna Singh), we can offer:

  • quantification and average DA analysis of chitosans in more complex (or new-to-us) biological matrices
  • analyses of chitin and chitosan modifying enzymes (chitinases, chitosanases, chitin deacetylases) (e.g. determination of subsite specificities and preferences, processivity, transglycosylating activity, basic kinetic parameters)
  • in silico modelling of chitin/chitosan interacting proteins (chitin or chitosan binding proteins, receptors, enzymes) (e.g. 3D structure prediction, ligand docking, protein-ligand interactions, protein-protein interactions, molecular dynamics, DFT calculations for studying electronic
  • properties of oligomers with varying DP, DA, and PA, structure-based docking, screening against an oligomer library with varying DP, DA, and PA)
  • transcriptomics and microbiome meta-transcriptomics data analysis

Principal Investigators

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