What is Chitin

A bee's exoskeleton of cuticle is a continuous material around a soft body. Much of insect success is due to the flexible properties of cuticle. Cuticle is a network of polysaccharide fibers (chitin) embedded in a protein matrix. This fibrous composite combines the intrinsic strength of the embedded chitin fibers with a high degree of toughness (the ability to absorb the energy of impact). Strength of cuticle to a great extent arises from the forces existing between molecules of the hard matrix binding these to the surfaces of the fibers. Chitin not only protects; it is essential for growth (Ref: Chitin).

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