Two chitosan gel systems, chitosan/acetic anhydride and chitosan/glutaraldehyde, were studied as host materials for optical limiters. Both gels are transparent and have a very high laser damage threshold. The chitosan/acetic anhydride gel has a damage threshold > 540 J/cm2 while the chitosan/glutaraldehyde gel, which is slightly yellow in color, has a damage threshold > 600 J/cm2 (measurements made with 6.8 ns laser pulses at 532 nm). Different chromophore dopants, including porphyrin and CuPc, were tested. The optical limiting behavior of the guest/host gel systems was similar to their corresponding solution systems. The morphological structure of the gel systems was studied and the gelation process is discussed. Our current research explores the effect of gel morphology on the optical limiting properties of the chromophores and studies the relation between chromophores, cross-linking agents and the host materials. We have also investigated the relationship between optical properties and chemical structure of the gel/chromophore systems in order to optimize the optical behavior.