It is difficult today to pick out a domain in our lives where a fibre doesn't exist. From the living muscles to the bandages, from automobile tyres to river embankments, fibres are playing very important functional roles, besides their extensive usage as wearable and decorative textiles. In the field of medical sciences also, researches involving the developments in the usage of textile fibres is intense. There has been increased inclination towards eco-friendly, biocompatible and biodegradable polymers, as most of the prevalent synthetic polymers lack these properties. Hence, the advantages of chitosan as a textile fibre were realised. Chitosan is a natural biopolymer, abundantly available in nature and is cheap to be produced. It shows good biocompatibility, bio-absorbability, wound-healing, haemostatic, anti-infection, anti-bacterial, non-toxicity and adsorption properties. Besides, it is resistant to thermal decomposition and can act as a good drug delivery carrier. It also exhibits the permeability and selectivity required for medical purposes. It can provide better control of transport and inherent blood compatibility.

Chitosan is gaining popularity as a textile fibre which can be specifically used for medical purposes, despite the problems faced in its process-ability and inferior mechanical properties. It is a unique material with certain special properties, preferred for medical usage. It has been found that wound dressings from chitosan can increase the rate of healing by 75%.

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About the author:

Mr Arnab Sen is an Assistant Professor in Textile Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bhopal.