ZnO nanowires were synthesized on UV-cured chitin film by using a hydrothermal method. Structural and optical characterization showed that one dimensional nanowires can be produced on the UV-cured chitin film. The morphological analysis indicated that nanowires structures can be obtained at about 30 nm radius and 10 mu m length. Surface morphology of the ZnO coated UV-cured chitin film was also investigated and a three-dimensional surface profile and high surface roughness were obtained. X-ray diffraction analysis of the film showed large and pure crystals of ZnO nanowires with wurtzite structure and UV-visible absorbance spectrum indicated that ZnO nanowires have 3.39 eV band-gap energy and nanostructures have very good transparency of about 80% in blue region. Also ZnO coated film was tested for its biocidal action against Gram positive Staphylococcus aureus using an agar plate method. This newly developed nano-biomaterial exhibited a strong antibacterial effect. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.