Review of three days of scientific exchange at EUCHIS in Siglufjörður
HMC was attending EUCHIS 2023 in Siglufjörður in northern Iceland from September 11-14. If you couldn't meet us there, read our highlights from the conference here or visit us at EPNOE in Graz until September 22.
This year's presentations showed us again the incredible diversity of chitosan. Especially interesting was Margareta J. Hellmann's presentation on non-random acetylation patterns of heterogeneously deacetylated chitosan and the presentation of stretchable hydrogels based on chitosan and hyaluronic acid. Furthermore, Katja Richter, CEO of HMC, presented the first chitosan molecular weight standards - read more here. The importance of quality assurance for chitosan, in particular for pharmaceutical applications, was highlighted by her in another presentation.
Since 2006, prizes have been awarded at EUCHIS for the best posters illustrating new discoveries on chitin and chitosan. This year, as with the conference as a general theme, the focus was on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The prizes were awarded by the committee consisting of Katja Richter, Véronique Coma, Hiroshi Tamura and Shinsuke Ifuku. First place went to Alexandra Großdorf from Hamburg, who was able to show that the pro-inflammatory YKL-40, which is activated by heparan sulfate, can be regulated by chitosan oligomers. Second place went to Patricia Esteve Redondo from Paterna, who produced chitosan hydrogels with trans-2-hexanal as an alternative to toxic aldehydes. The third prize this year was secured by Sankar Rathinam from Reykjavík with an application of Nobel Prize-winning click chemistry. This enables the synthesis of chitotriazolanes with a very high degree of derivatization and antibacterial activity. We also thank the Icelandic Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate, Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarsson, for his participation, because as the posters show, chitosan can make an important contribution to sustainability.
Towards the end of the conference, the focus was also on exchange. Katja Richter had the honor of participating in a panel discussion on the analysis of polysaccharides, moderated by Már Másson, together with Pedro Fardim and Bruno Moerschbacher.
The EUCHIS conference would not have been possible without the dedication of its members. With this in mind, we congratulate Laurent David as the new president of EUCHIS and also thank Katja Richter who is active as a board member and treasurer. In addition to the many networking opportunities, the many activities in Iceland's spectacular landscape - from boat trips to hikes to gazing at the Aurora Borealis together - also contributed to making this year's EUCHIS unforgettable.