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All You Need To Know About Chitosan


October 26th, 2021 21:24

Chitosan and biotech startups

Biotech startup definition - Biotech startups research, develop, and produce a wide variety of commercial products while focussing on medical and agricultural applications. Biotech startup companies use the processes of living organisms as they manufacture products and help solve problems. 

These startups have developed pest-resistant crops, created biofuels such as ethanol, and even developed gene cloning. 

What exactly is Chitosan?

Sugar, which is generally used for medicine and extracted out of the hard outer skeleton of shellfish, is referred to as Chitosan. It not only treats stomach and kidney ailments such as high cholesterol, failures, and obesity but is also helpful in the pharmaceutical and food industries as an edible coating. 

Chitosan is responsible for curing problems such as insomnia, anemia, gum and Crohn’s disease. Plastic surgeons apply Chitosan at times to help cure donor tissue as well. Some research also suggests that weight loss can be cured with the appropriate usage of Chitosan with a healthy diet.

What separates Chitosan from everything else?

The widespread biopolymer Chitosan, extracted from chitin, recently proved to be a good ingredient for fertilizers by a biotech startup. 

Chitosan is produced worldwide and all seafood companies are familiar with it. However, the nature of its quality will depend on its extraction method.

A lot of research has been done to best analyze Chitosan’s usage, and its qualities and uses mentioned above made it the finest choice for biotech startups. 

Thermogravimetric analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy techniques were used to determine physical and chemical characteristics. So, the results of those resulted in a higher purity of Chitosan powder being produced from non-ground samples. Moreover, for good thermal stability, producing Chitosan from ground samples turned out to be a better choice.

Why Chitosan?

Around 8 million tons of crustacean waste gets generated annually around the world with around 45 to 60% of shrimp cells being discarded as processing by-products. To make something out of the waste is always good for society, isn’t it?

The research team scaled up the manufacturing of such large objects by fully using this compostable bioplastic made from shrimp shells. These objects portray the exact same properties such as synthetic plastics and that too without any threat to the environment. 

Chitosan is a biodegradable and non-toxic biopolymer that boosts plant immunity and antimicrobial eliciting properties. Researchers have been trying to find an environmentally friendly alternative and Chitosan is a great choice.

Some of the technical and chemical benefits of Chitosan include the following:

  • Metal chelation capacity
  • Plasma membrane mechanism
  • Exhibiting inhibitory efficiency against fungi, viruses, and bacteria
  • DNA and RNA interactions
  • Microbial surface deposition
  • Secondary metabolites accumulation
  • Electrostatic interactions
  • Elicitation of plant defense responses
  • Complex signal transduction network
  • Defense-related enzymes

Due to so many mentioned properties, Chitosan was tried and tested by various biotech startups to turn shrimp cells (waste) into fertilizers. The results and amazing potential of Chitosan made many manufacturing biotech companies access its high competence.

An Egyptian biotech startup, named Chitosan, recently was highlighted. Trying to find a solution to troubled ecosystem problems, its founders Ehab Usama and Shahira Yahia, found the shrimp cells which they later worked with to create Chitosan. 

They got to know that Chitosan is the second-most available natural material after cellulose. They extracted the highest grade of chitosan which is also known as Alpha Chitosan. 

Chitosan proves no threat to trees, plants, or any other part of nature; this product is perfect for market use. This is just a start to fulfill the urgent need for sustainable materials in the world. 


Agriculture is a wide sector and fertilizers are used by everyone here, making it the easiest market to enter. So, to start from this sector with an organic product, such as Chitosan, can be a good deal. 

Frequently asked questions

1. What is an early-stage biotech startup?

  • An early-stage biotech startup includes no customers, employees, or actual product needs; however, there must exist legitimate ideas for a tangible product and its associated IP.

2. How do I start a small biotech company?

  • Be absolutely sure about your idea and whether it has a true market need. After this, identify the founders and key personnel. Incorporate your company as a Corporation once you have investor interest and conceive well-planned marketing and business strategies.

3. What does a biotech startup do?

  • Biotech firms use the processes of living organisms as they manufacture products and help solve sustainability issues. The identification and sourcing of DNA have helped the industry achieve great heights. 

4. How much profit do biotech companies make?

  • Despite the commercial success of companies such as Amgen and Genentech and the stunning growth in revenues for the industry as a whole, most biotech firms earn almost no profit. 

5. Is it hard to start a biotech company?

  • Biotech startups are high on capital investment, and this can make it intimidating to get started. Though, in today’s world, it is quite possible today to start a biotech company on a shoestring budget (around $200k starting costs).

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