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ABSTRACT: Quaternary ammonium chitosan sulfates with diverse degrees of substitution (DS) ascribed to sulfate groups between 0.52 and 1.55 were synthesized by reacting quaternary ammonium chitosan with an uncommon sulfating agent (N(SO(3)Na)(3)) that was prepared from sodium bisulfite (NaHSO(3)) through reaction with sodium nitrite (NaNO(2)) in the aqueous system homogeneous. The structures of the derivatives were characterized by FTIR, (1)H NMR and (13)C NMR. The factors affecting DS of quaternary ammonium chitosan sulfates which included the molar ratio of NaNO(2) to quaternary ammonium chitosan, sulfated temperature, sulfated time and pH of sulfated reaction solution were investigated in detail. Its anticoagulation activity in vitro was determined by an activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) assay, a thrombin time (TT) assay and a prothrombin time (PT) assay. Results of anticoagulation assays showed quaternary ammonium chitosan sulfates significantly prolonged APTT and TT, but not PT, and demonstrated that the introduction of sulfate groups into the quaternary ammonium chitosan structure improved its anticoagulant activity obviously. The study showed its anticoagulant properties strongly depended on its DS, concentration and molecular weight.