AbstractChitosan obtained by alkaline deacetylation of chitin is a non-toxic, biocompatible, and biodegradable natural polymer. Chitosan-based hydrogel polymeric beads have been extensively studied as micro- or nano-particulate carriers in the pharmaceutical and medical fields, where they have shown promise for drug delivery as a result of their controlled and sustained release properties, as well as biocompatibility with tissue and cells. To introduce desired properties and enlarge the scope of the potential applications of chitosan, graft copolymerization with natural or synthetic polymers on it has been carried out, and also, various chitosan derivatives have been utilized to form beads. The desired kinetics, duration, and rate of drug release up to therapeutical level from polymeric beads are limited by specific conditions such as beads material and their composition, bead preparation method, amount of drug loading, drug solubility, and drug polymer interaction. The present review summarizes most of the available reports about compositional and structural effects of chitosan-based hydrogel polymeric beads on swelling, drug loading, and releasing properties. From the studies reviewed it is concluded that chitosan-based hydrogel polymeric beads are promising drug delivery systems.