SCIENCE CHINA Technological Sciences, Volume 62, Issue 6: 931-944(2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11431-018-9475-5

Polymer complexation for functional fibers

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  • ReceivedNov 1, 2018
  • AcceptedMar 1, 2019
  • PublishedMay 5, 2019


Polymer complex is a polymer association of different polymers with good miscibility resulting from the relatively strong intermolecular interactions or stereo match effect between polymer chains. Polymer complexes have been utilized in various fields, such as food, biomedical, cosmetic, and pharmacy. Fiber is one of the most important material forms, and shaping polymer complex into fiber will further extend its applications. This review briefly introduces the fundamentals of polymer complex, and then demonstrates the main approaches to produce polymer complex fibers (PCFs). Followed by, the modification of fibers with polymer complexes is presented. Finally, the applications of PCFs and the polymer complex modified fibers are provided, and the prospect of polymer complexation for fibers is discussed properly.

Funded by

the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality(Grant,No.,16JC1400700)


This work was supported by the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (Grant No. 16JC1400700).


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  • Figure 1

    Different phenomena observed during mixing two different polymers in the same solvent.

  • Figure 2

    Three approaches to prepare PCFs.

  • Figure 3

    Interfacial drawing of E-PCF. Fibers can be draw out by gravity automatically (reprinted with permission from ref. [44]. 1998, John Wiley and Sons).

  • Figure 4

    Multi-interfacial E-PCFs with different topologies (reprinted with permission from ref. [51]. 2012, John Wiley and Sons).

  • Figure 5

    The proposed four stages of the E-PCF forming process by the interfacial drawing (reprinted with permission from ref. [54]. 2004, ACS Publications).

  • Figure 6

    Different pairs of polyelectrolyte to prepare E-PCF which contains SWNT. (a) DNA-CHIT fiber; (b) HA-CHIT fiber; (c) CHIT-Hep fiber; (d) CHIT-chondroitin sulphate fiber.

  • Figure 7

    Images show the effects of different sonification time on the morphology of fibers. (a) 3 min and (b) 40 min (mixed with the polyelectrolyte solution without sonification), respectively. (c) and (d), the surface and cross-section morphology for (b) fibers (reprinted with permission from ref. [61]. 2008, John Wiley and Sons).

  • Figure 8

    Inhibition and formation of PAA and PEO H-PCFs in an acid coagulation bath through inter-chain hydrogen bonding (reprinted with permission from ref. [66]. 2016, ACS Publication).

  • Figure 9

    (a) Tensile test for PSS/PDDA fiber (solid line represents the original fiber, and dot line represents the fiber annealed in hot water); (b) a tight knot made with the original PSS/PDDA fiber; (c) the maximum degree that the annealed sample can be bent to is approximately 58°. Both of the scale bars are 1 cm. Inset of (a) depicts the structures of PSS and PDDA (reprinted with permission from ref. [69]. 2014, The Royal Society of Chemistry.)

  • Figure 10

    Illustration of the coaxial electrospinning for fabricating PEO-PAA core-shell nanofibers (reprinted with permission from ref. [70]. 2017, Springer).

  • Figure 11

    KBr induced PSS/PDADMAC coacervation for electrospinning (reprinted with permission from ref. [77]. 2017, ACS Publications).

  • Figure 12

    Coaxial spinning method to prepare E-PCF (reprinted with permission from ref. [85]. 2016, ACS Publications).

  • Figure 13

    Illustrated procedure for the modification of cellulose fibers with CPAM and LS via LBL (reprinted with permission from ref. [86]. 2014, John Wiley and Sons).

  • Figure 14

    Illustrated procedures of modification of wood fiber with chitosan and PVS through LBL (reprinted with permission from ref. [87]. 2015, ACS Publications).

  • Figure 15

    Different application areas of PCFs and the polymer complexes modified fibers.

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