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Research into the Process of Manufacturing Alginate-Chitosan Fibres

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The process of obtaining alginate-chitosan fibres intended for medical applications was the subject of our investigations. Two methods of forming two-component alginate-chitosan fibres of the core-skin type (calcium alginate and chitosan respectively) were developed. The first method of forming fibres (A), which consists in fibre spinning by feeding chitosan into a coagulation bath, allowed us to obtain alginate-chitosan fibres with a maximum chitosan content of about 3.1%. The second method (B) turned out to be more efficient. It consists in using chitosan in the finishing process, and enabled us to obtain alginate-chitosan fibres with a chitosan content of up to 9.2% wt. In order to further increase the chitosan content in the alginate-chitosan fibres manufactured by method B, polyvinylopyrrolidone (PVP), in amounts from 4% to 20% in relation to calcium alginate was introduced into the spinning solution. The two-component fibres manufactured with the use of PVP, and which included 11.6% wt of chitosan, were characterised by a tenacity of 22.2 cN/tex and an elongation at break of 19%. Additionally, the alginate-chitosan fibres of this type were characterised by very high water retention values (WRV) of up to 1300%, which makes these fibres suitable for use in sanitary and medical products.

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alginate-chitosan fibres, chitosan, core-skin type fibres, wet spinning, finishing, water retention value

Published in issue no 4 (58) / 2006, pages 25–31.

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