Chitosan is a polysaccharide that has been extensively studied in the field of biomedicine, especially its water-soluble degraded products called chitooligosaccharides (COS). In this study, COS were produced by the degradation of chitosan hydrogel dispersed in a dilute solution (i.e., 1.55 mM) of various kinds of carboxylic acids using a non-thermal plasma technology called solution plasma (SP). The degradation rates of chitosan were influenced by the type of carboxylic acids, depending on the interaction between chitosan and each carboxylic acid. After SP treatment, the water-soluble degraded products containing COS could be easily separated from the water-insoluble residue of chitosan hydrogel by centrifugation. The production yields of the COS were mostly higher than 55%. Furthermore, the obtained COS products were evaluated for their inhibitory effect as well as their selectivity against human lung cancer cells (H460) and human lung normal cells (MRC-5).
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