BACKGROUND: Chitosan as a functional polymer material has been widely used in the field of biomedicine, and it is an intelligent material with sensor function, feedback function and response function.OBJECTIVE: To discuss the recent application of chitosan scaffolds in different fields of tissue engineering, and to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of chitosan as a scaffold material. METHODS: The key words of "tissue engineering, scaffold, chitosan" in Chinese and English were used to search CNKI and PubMed databases for relevant articles published from 2000 to 2016. After the initial screening,the reserved articles were further detailed, summarized and concluded. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Due to its biological properties such as being biocompatible, biodegradable and carrying many different growth factors, chitosan has been widely used in the tissue engineering field for repair of different tissues including nerve tissue, periodontal tissue, bone tissue, and myocardial tissue. However, the application of chitosan as a scaffold in tissue engineering is limited due to its shortcoming. The combination of chitosan and other biocompatible materials provides a solution to these limitations, which greatly broadens the application of chitosan.