Table of Contents
International Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 312539, 12 pages
Review Article

Quaternary Salts of Chitosan: History, Antimicrobial Features, and Prospects

1Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, Rua XV de Novembro, 1452, P.O. Box 741, 13560-970 São Carlos, SP, Brazil
2Instituto de Química de São Carlos, USP, Avenida Trabalhador São-Carlense, 400, P.O. Box 780, 13560-970, São Carlos, SP, Brazil

Received 28 January 2011; Revised 14 April 2011; Accepted 27 May 2011

Academic Editor: José das Neves

Copyright © 2011 Douglas de Britto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recently, increasing attention has been paid to water-soluble derivatives of chitosan at its applications. The chemical characteristics and the antimicrobial properties of these salts can play significant role in pharmacological and food areas mainly as carriers for drug delivery systems and as antimicrobial packaging materials. In the current paper, a historical sequence of the main preparative methods, physical chemistry aspects, and antimicrobial activity of chitosan quaternized derivatives are presented and briefly discussed. In general, the results indicated that the quaternary derivatives had better inhibitory effects than the unmodified chitosan.