In this work, chitosan-succinic acid membranes were prepared by casting method and the physicochemical and mechanical properties of non-neutralized and neutralized with NaOH films were compared. Mechanical strength, flexibility, thermal stability and water-vapor permeability of chitosan membranes are significantly improved after neutralization. These improvements could be partly ascribed to the use of a dicarboxylic acid, which decreases the spacing between chitosan chains as a consequence of ionic crosslinking. Moreover, the addition of the strong base to the hydrogel promotes the formation of amide bonds, as suggested by FTIR analysis and demonstrated by acid-base titration. The favorable features of chitosan-succinic acid films as well as the possibility to easily incorporate drugs, enzymes, essential oils or other additives in the hydrogel, make such membranes suitable for many applications.
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