Fiber Materials / Alfa Chemistry
Online Inquiry

Biodegradable Fiber

Biodegradable fibers refer to fibers that can be degraded by microorganisms in a certain period of time and under appropriate natural conditions. According to the source of fiber materials, biodegradable fibers mainly include natural polymer fibers and synthetic polymer fibers. Here, Alfa Chemistry provides a series of synthetic biodegradable polymer fibers to satisfy the requirements of environmentally friendly fiber materials.


  • Natural Biodegradable Polymer Fiber
    In general, natural polymer fibers exhibit good biodegradability due to their natural cellulose sources. Common natural fibers are cotton fiber, animal hair fiber, silk fiber, etc. In addition, current research focuses more on cellulose fibers, protein fibers, chitin fibers, starch fibers, etc. If you are interested in these natural fiber products, please click to view the list of natural fiber products.

Synthetic Biodegradable Polymer Fiber

  • Synthetic Biodegradable Polymer Fiber
    The most popular chemical synthetic polymers mainly include biodegradable polyester fibers and water-soluble polymer fibers. Currently developed polyester fibers include polyglycolic acid ester (PGA) fiber, polylactic acid (PLA) fiber, poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) fiber, polyvalerolactone (PVL) fiber, etc.

Water-soluble polymers are hydrophilic polymer materials that can dissolve or swell in water to form solution or dispersion. Their molecular chains generally contain a certain number of strong hydrophilic groups, such as carboxyl, hydroxyl, amino, ether and amide groups. Common such biodegradable fibers include polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fibers, polypropylene glycol (PPG) fibers, and polyethylene glycol (PEG) fibers.

Fibers made of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are another important type of biosynthetic biodegradable polymer fibers. PHA is an aliphatic copolyester with different structures synthesized by microorganisms through the fermentation of various carbon sources. Its basic structure is shown in the figure below. PHAs have different monomer structures, so there is a wide variety. Among them, the most common ones are poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), polyhydroxyvalerate (PHV) and the copolymer of PHB and PHV (PHBV).

General structure of polyhydroxyalkanoates with some modifications as reported, Where if n = 1, R = methyl: poly (-3-hydroxybutyrate); R = hydrogen: poly (-3-hydroxypropionate); R = propyl: poly (-3-hydroxyhexanoate); R = nonyl: poly (-3-hydroxydodecanoate); R = ethyl: poly (-3-hydroxyvalerate); R = pentyl: poly (-3-hydroxyoctanoate); If n = 2, R = hydrogen: poly(-3-hydroxybutyrate); If n = 3, R = hydrogen: poly (-5-hydroxyvalerate). [1]

Application and Research

Due to their biocompatibility and biodegradability, these biodegradable polyester fibers are mainly used in surgical sutures, drug release systems, tissue engineering, and implants.

For example, combined with coaxial electrospinning technology, Chi Wang et al. prepared a core-shell fiber using two biodegradable polymer solutions of PLA and PHB. The PDLLA/PHB fibers can be used for sustained release of dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG) drugs. In this work, the DMOG release was about 25% within 60 h. After the burst release, the linear release of DMOG is up to 70%, and it is feasible that the release rate is controlled by the thickness of the PHB shell. [2]

Application and Research


  1. Zulfiqar Ali Raza, et al. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 2018, 126, 45-56.
  2. Chi Wang, et al. Macromolecules 2010, 43, 15, 6389–6397.

Our products and services are for research use only.