To summarise the knowledge about the use of chitin polymer—and its derivative chitosan—as support for chromatographic processes, a systematic search of academic articles was carried out. These polymers have been studied based on the need to have inexpensive materials applicable to profitable processing of industrial waste and agro-industrial by-products. We found that chitin and chitosan are widely used to make adsorptive materials, while their use to adsorb proteins is relatively low. Chitin and chitosan matrices may be formatted for protein chromatography in various ways, suggesting the versatility of these polymers. However, we observed that most reports do not include a deep structural characterisation of the materials under study. Among 96 articles on the chromatographic use of chitin or chitosan, only 9 present any quantitative structural parameter and maximum adsorption capacity (Qm) of model proteins. Qm-Porosity% ratio and Qm-Surface area correlation are worthy of note. Porosity, surface area and pore size, as well as polymer molecular weight and acetylation degree, are important parameters to be reported to ensure progress in the development of chitin- and chitosan-based chromatographic matrices.
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