Wound dressings require good antiseptic properties, mechanical strength and, more trustably, natural material ingredients. Antimicrobial properties of cerium ions and chitosan are known and alginate based wound dressings are commercially available. In this study, the advantages of these materials were combined and alginate films were crosslinked with cerium(III) solution and chitosan added cerium(III) solution. Films were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), light transmittance, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), swelling expefiments, water vapor transmittance tests, and mechanical stretching tests. The antibacterial and physical properties of the films were compared with those of conventional calcium alginate films. Both cerium ion crosslinked and cerium ion-chitosan crosslinked alginate films gained antibacterial activity against Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) and Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria. Cerium alginate-chitosan films showed high resistance to being deformed elastically. Results show that cerium alginate-chitosan films can be flexible, ultraviolet protecting, and antibacterial wound dressings. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.