At present, alginate fiber possesses various forms and functions, which is increasingly used in biomedicine and clinical medicine.OBJECTIVE:
To comprehensively review the structure and feature of alginate fiber and to introduce the biomedical application of its blend fiber with chitosan or gelation.METHODS:
PubMed database and Wanfang database were retrieved by the first author for literature about alginate fiber production process, the alginate fiber structure and properties, biomedical application of alginate fiber, and related blended fiber characteristics and applications, published from 1990 to 2012.RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:
Alginate has been widely applied in agriculture and chemical industry, biological control, tissue engineering, drug delivery system, wound repair, and environmental purification. New hybrid fibers obtained through blending modification cannot only improve the shortcomings of alginate fiber applications, but also be endued with more performances, as biomaterials which have become a research hotspot nowadays and in the future. At present, development of biomedical materials is going towards environmental protection, high functionality, and intellectualized directions. Seaweed fibers, chitosan fibers, gelatin fibers and their blend fibers, which are present with a rich storage in natural, low cost, excellent biocompatibility and degradation, have great potential and have been expected to have further development in biomedicine and bionic medicine.