In recent years, a strong interest has emerged in hybrid composites and their potential uses, especially in chitosan-titanium dioxide (CS-TiO2) composites, which have interesting technological properties and applications. This review describes the reported advantages and limitations of the functionalization of chitosan by adding TiO2 nanoparticles. Their effects on structural, textural, thermal, optical, mechanical, and vapor barrier properties and their biodegradability are also discussed. Evidence shows that the incorporation of TiO2 onto the CS matrix improves all the above properties in a dose-dependent manner. Nonetheless, the CS-TiO2 composite exhibits great potential applications including antimicrobial activity against bacteria and fungi; UV-barrier properties when it is used for packaging and textile purposes; environmental applications for removal of heavy metal ions and degradation of diverse water pollutants; biomedical applications as a wound-healing material, drug delivery system, or by the development of biosensors. Furthermore, no cytotoxic effects of CS-TiO2 have been reported on different cell lines, which supports their use for food and biomedical applications. Moreover, CS-TiO2 has also been used as an anti-corrosive material. However, the development of suitable protocols for CS-TiO2 composite preparation is mandatory for industrial-scale implementation.
Keywords: biological activities; chitosan; functionalization; hybrid composite; titanium dioxide.