Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.



Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Studies examining the immune response upon exposure to chitin microparticles in living models have reached drastically differing conclusions, and the reason remains unclear. One notable issue between the experiments is that they have not characterized their chitin preparations for degree of acetylation. They all use different chitin processing methods prior to administration, which could potentially be the source of the variance between studies. Chitin and chitosan preparations specified in the literature and several novel preparations were analyzed for degree acetylation (DA) using High Performance Anion-Exchange Chromatography with Pulsed Amperometric Detection (HPAEC-PAD). It was found that autoclaving and sonication processing steps do not have a significant influence on degree of acetylation. Chitin and chitosan preparations were used to create a dose-response curve of DA compared to cytokine elicitation from THP-1 monocytes, and it was found that the initial response was dominated by TNF (similar to previous studies), though after 12 hours showed a tip toward the start of an IL-1β-dominated Th17 effector response. This study also confirmed that immunostimulatory effects can occur from chitin and chitosan particles at orparticles, which would have long residence times in air, might be implicated in initiating allergic or asthmatic processes.


First Advisor

Christine A. Rogers