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Int J Biol Macromol. 2014 Sep;70:385-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2014.06.051. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Use of a fractional factorial design to study the effects of experimental factors on the chitin deacetylation.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Enzyme Engineering and Microbiology, National School of Engineering, PO Box 1173-3038, Sfax, Tunisia. Electronic address:
  • 2Laboratory of Enzyme Engineering and Microbiology, National School of Engineering, PO Box 1173-3038, Sfax, Tunisia.
  • 3Laboratory of Industrial Chemistry, National School of Engineering, BP W 3038 Sfax, Tunisia.
  • 4Biomaterials Applications, 6, rue Lesdiguières 38000 Grenoble, France.
  • 5Univ. Grenoble Alpes, DPM, F-38000 Grenoble, France.
  • 6CNRS, DPM, F-38000 Grenoble, France.


Chitosan is obtained by deacetylation of chitin. Chitosan versatility is directly related to the polymer's characteristics depending on the deacetylation process. The aim of this research was to study the parameters influencing deacetylation and to elucidate their effect on acetylation degree (DA) and molecular weight (MW). The effect on chitosan DA was investigated using a fractional factorial design 2(7-3) with seven factors and two variation levels. The tested factors were: X1=number of successive baths, X2=reaction time, X3=temperature, X4=alkali reagent, X5=sodium borohydride, X6=the atmospheric conditions and X7=alkali concentration. A mathematical model was investigated corresponding to the following relation ŷ=7.469-1.344X1-1.094X2-3.094X3+1.906X4+0.656X5+0.906X6-1.031X7+0.469X1X2-0.781X3X4+0.906X1X3X4 with R2=0.99. This model allows fixing experimental conditions for each desired DA. To study the effect on chitosan MW, only atmospheric conditions and use of sodium borohydride as an oxygen scavenger were investigated. The use of sodium borohydride and nitrogen atmosphere was found to have a protective effect against chitosan degradation during deacetylation.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Acetylation degree; Chitin deacetylation; Molecular weight

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