Over the past several decades, we have witnessed significant progress in chitosan and chitin based nanostructured materials. The nanofibers from chitin and chitosan with appealing physical and biological features have attracted intense attention due to their excellent biological properties related to biodegradability, biocompatibility, antibacterial activity, low immunogenicity and wound healing capacity. Various methods, such as electrospinning, self-assembly, phase separation, mechanical treatment, printing, ultrasonication and chemical treatment were employed to prepare chitin and chitosan nanofibers. These nanofibrous materials have tremendous potential to be used as drug delivery systems, tissue engineering scaffolds, wound dressing materials, antimicrobial agents, and biosensors. This review article discusses the most recent progress in the preparation and application of chitin and chitosan based nanofibrous materials in biomedical fields.