What are chito-oligosaccharides (COS/paCOS)?

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Chitin oligomers and chitosan oligomers are sometimes summarily called chito-oligosaccharides and abbreviated as COS. However, this term is not clearly defined and may also refer to chitin oligomers only. In contrast, the abbreviation paCOS for partially acetylated chito-oligosaccharides is unambiguously referring to chitosan oligomers only, excluding fully acetylated chitin or GlcNAc oligomers, but also excluding fully deacetylated GlcN oligomers.