Influence of the molecular weight of chitosan on the spinnability of chitosan/poly(vinyl alcohol) blend nanofibers

Authors

  • Homa Homayoni,

    1. Research Center of Fiber Science and Technology, Textile Department, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran 84156/83111
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  • Seyed Abdolkarim Hosseini Ravandi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Center of Fiber Science and Technology, Textile Department, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran 84156/83111
    • Research Center of Fiber Science and Technology, Textile Department, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran 84156/83111
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  • Masoumeh Valizadeh

    1. Faculty of Engineering, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran 3756
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Abstract

The electrospinning of the biopolymer chitosan (CS) and poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) was investigated with 90% acetic acid as the solvent and with different CS/PVA ratios. The long chains of high-molecular-weight CS prevented it from forming nanofibers in a high-voltage field. The treatment of CS under high-temperature alkali conditions reduced its molecular weight exponentially with the treatment time and caused a reduction of the viscosity consequently. PVA, acting as a plasticizer and accompanied by the alkali-treated CS of lower viscosity, made the electrospinning of CS/PVA blends possible. The effects of the duration of the alkali treatment on the molecular weight of CS and its viscosity were investigated and optimized. The diameter of the bicomponent nanofiber decreased proportionally with the increase in the CS portion, whereas the surface porosity increased inversely. Fourier transform infrared studies illustrated that the alkali treatment or blending of CS with PVA had no effect on its chemical nature. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009

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