Optimization of Chitosan-Gelatin Nanofibers Production: Investigating the Effect of Solution Properties and Working Parameters on Fibers Diameter
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Electrospinning of chitosan-gelatin, using organic solvents, have already been reported. This study was designed to fabricate, characterize, and optimize electrospun chitosan-gelatin nanofibrous membranes using acetic acid as a more safe alternative aqueous solvent. Series of 90/10, 80/20, 70/30, 60/40, and 50/50 ratios of chitosan and gelatin were prepared using aqueous acetic acid as solvent. Blend solutions were electrospun after adding polyethylene oxide (PEO) to facilitate the electrospinning process. The effects of solution properties as well as the operating parameters on the architecture of the electrospun chitosan-gelatin nanofibers were investigated through evaluation of the electrical conductivity, viscosity, morphology, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), mechanical properties, and hydrophilicity. Uniform beadless nanofibrous hydrophilic mats were fabricated with average fiber diameters from 229.79 ± 41.45 to 308.66 ± 50.03 nm. Concentration was the main parameter among all solution properties in controlling nanofiber diameter. The fiber diameters decreased with increasing the voltage, decreasing the feed rate, and increasing the needle to collector distance up to a certain amount. The interactions between the components of the blend solutions were confirmed by FTIR spectra. The Young’s moduli of all chitosan-gelatin blend nanofibers were higher than the chitosan nanofibers and increased significantly after cross-linking (P < 0.05). Chitosan-gelatin blends with different ratios of each biopolymer can be electrospun using acetic acid as an aqueous solvent and addition of PEO to yield hydrophilic membranes with uniform and beadless nanofibers. The architectural similarity of the nanofibrous chitosan-gelatin mats to natural ECM makes them great candidates for different biomedical applications.
KeywordsElectrospinning Chitosan Gelatin Nanofibrous membrane Aqueous solvent
This study was part of a research project which was financially supported by the vice chancellor for research of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (No. 931634).
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