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This paper reviews studies on dissolution, derivatization, and
nanomaterial processing of chitin using an ionic liquid as useful media.
Because chitin is the second most abundant polysaccharide on the earth after
cellulose, there is major interest in conversion of native chitin
resources into various useful materials after proper dissolution in suitable
solvents. For the derivatization and nanomaterial processing of chitin, the
author has been focusing on ionic liquids because which have been found to be
used as good solvents for cellulose in a past decade. The author found that an
ionic liquid, 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide (AMIMBr), dissolved chitin in
concentrations up to 4.8 wt% and mixtures of the higher amounts of chitin with
AMIMBr gave ion gels. Acetylation, the simplest derivatization, of chitin using
acetic anhydride was achieved in the AMIMBr solvent under mild conditions.
Furthermore, the chitin nanofibers were fabricated by regeneration
technique from the chitin ion gel with AMIMBr using methanol. Moreover,
filtration of the chitin nanofiber dispersion with methanol was carried out to
give a chitin nanofiber film. The chitin nanofiber-poly(vinyl alcohol)
composite film was also prepared from the ion gel by co-regeneration method.
For most of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and Williams syndrome (WS), a rare genetic neurodevelopmental disorder, are known to have intellectual disabilities (ID). Students with ID often show the difficulties in reading. Especially, they are difficult to acquire the equivalence relations among pictures, written letters, and sounds and to have fluent eye movement during reading. Previous research suggested that a student with autism acquired Kanji reading skills by using stimulus pairing training. However, for acquiring word reading skills, new training which facilitates the fluent eye movement is necessary and we developed sequential stimulus pairing training. In the present study, we examined the acquisition of word reading skills through sequential stimulus pairing training for three students with ID who were also diagnosed as WS and three students with ID who were not diagnosed with WS. In a trial, each letters, the word, spoken sound, and picture were presented sequentially. With 6 students, result indicated that they could acquire the word reading skills, and also showed the improvement of their eye movement in reading. The result suggested sequential stimulus pairing training is effective to acquire both equivalence relations and fluent eye movement for wide range of students with ID.