Optical Properties of Chitin

In order to further study the optical properties of beetles, I must study the structure and optical properties of chitin.
In order to further understand the optical properties of beetles, I must first learn about the structure and optical properties of chitin.
Chitin is a polymer that is derived from glucose. It is similar to keratin, the protein in human fingernails, and cellulose. Chitin is most commonly found in the shells of arthropods such as crustaceans and insects. It can also be found in the cell walls of fungi and in mollusks.
A derivative of chitin, chitosan, has been found to have healing and blood clotting properties when used on human wounds. In addition, chitosan is used in agriculture to promote plant immune systems and as strengthening and binding agents in many commercial products.
Though it has many industrial and medicinal uses, chitin in its natural forms exhibits some interesting optical properties. The study of these properties will increase understanding of the material and improve its usefulness to humans.

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