Recently developed technology permits to optimize simultaneously surface area, porosity, density, rigidity and surface morphology of chitin-derived materials of biomedical interest. Safe and ecofriendly disassembly of chitin has superseded the dangerous acid hydrolysis and provides higher yields and scaling-up possibilities: the chitosan nanofibrils are finding applications in reinforced bone scaffolds and composite dressings for dermal wounds. Electrospun chitosan nanofibers, in the form of biocompatible thin mats and non-wovens, are being actively studied: composites of gelatin + chitosan + polyurethane have been proposed for cardiac valves and for nerve conduits; fibers are also manufactured from electrospun particles that self-assemble during subsequent freeze-drying. Ionic liquids (salts of alkylated imidazolium) are suitable as non-aqueous solvents that permit desirable reactions to occur for drug delivery purposes. Gel drying with supercritical CO(2) leads to structures most similar to the extracellular matrix, even when the chitosan is crosslinked, or in combination with metal oxides of interest in orthopedics.