PURPOSE: To detect whether chitin and sepia ink sponge (CS) can promote wound healing and elevate impact of CS on phagocytosis ability of macrophages. METHODS: Forty-eight rats were assigned to four groups: Normal group (Normal), negative control group (Con), chitin and sepia ink sponge group (CS) and positive control Surgicel Gauze(r) group (SG). Deep second-degree burn model was created in rats. Wound area was recorded by digital imaging and determined using Image J software. Samples were collected and kept at -80oC on 3d, 7d, 14d and 21d for cytokines detecting. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, interleukin (IL)-6, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, hydroxyproline (Hyp) and macrophage activity reflected by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RESULTS: Comparing to Con and SG, scabs in CS group fell off and basically healed on 21 day. TGF-β1, IL-6, MMP-1 and Hyp were significantly increased by CS and SG comparing to Con (p < 0.05), CS had more apparently adjustment on TGF-β1 and MMP-1 compared to SG; results in vitro indicated CS significantly promoted phagocytosis ability of macrophages reflected in TNF-α (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: CS improved wound healing through exerting significant influences on secretion of kinds of cytokines and activating macrophages.