Concentrated solutions of a chitin from squid pens and of two commercial samples of chitosan were successfully prepared by using an ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate as a solvent. The dynamic viscoelasticity data for the solutions exhibited rubbery plateaus, indicating the existence of entanglement network of chitin and chitosan in the solutions. To characterize the network, the values of the molecular weight between entanglements (Me) for chitin and chitosan in the solutions were determined from the plateau moduli. Then the values of Me in the molten state (Me,melt), a material constant reflecting the inherent nature of polymer species, for chitin and chitosan were estimated to be 1.7 × 103 and 3.0 × 103, respectively. It was found that there was a significant difference in Me,melt between chitin and chitosan. Compared with other polysaccharides such as cellulose and agarose in terms of the number of monosaccharide units between entanglements (Nunit), chitin had significantly smaller Nunit of 8, while chitosan had equivalent Nunit of 19. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 2439–2443, 2013
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