Viscosan™ is technically speaking a homogenously (randomly) deacetylated chitin, a polysaccharide built up by N-acetyl-glucosamine and glucosamine units. By keeping a strict control of the deacetylation pattern and degree of deacetylation a number of useful properties can be tailored. Examples of such properties are: biodegradation rate, inflammatory responce, solubility and viscosity. Viscosan™ is manufactured to give products in a typical range from 40% to 70% degree of deacetylation and in different viscosities, see catalogue.
Chitosan is also derived from chitin but has generally a higher degree of deacetylation (80-95%) and a different distribution pattern of its remaing acetyl groups, in litterature often refered to as having a “blockwise” deacetylation pattern. Technically speaking chitosan is a heterogeneously deacetylated chitin.
Important differences between Viscosan™ and traditional Chitosan
Both polymers are biodegradable, antimicrobial and mucoadhesive. However, there are differences unique for Viscosan™ and makes it favourable in many applications. In contrast to traditional chitosans, which are practically insoluble at neutral pH and degrade slowly when used in vivo, Viscosan™ is soluble at physiological pH, degrades faster in vivo, and is less inflammatory.