An investigation into the influence of electrospinning parameters on the diameter and alignment of poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) fibers

Authors

  • Ho-Wang Tong,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China
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  • Min Wang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

Electrospinning is an effective technology for the fabrication of ultrafine fibers, which can be the basic component of a tissue engineering scaffold. In tissue engineering, because cells seeded on fibrous scaffolds with varying fiber diameters and morphologies exhibit different responses, it is critical to control these characteristics of electrospun fibers. The diameter and morphology of electrospun fibers can be influenced by many processing parameters (e.g., electrospinning voltage, needle inner diameter, solution feeding rate, rotational speed of the fiber-collecting cylinder, and working distance) and solution properties (polymer solution concentration and conductivity). In this study, a factorial design approach was used to systematically investigate the degree of influence of each of these parameters on fiber diameter, degree of fiber alignment, and their possible synergetic effects, using a natural biodegradable polymer, poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate), for the electrospinning experiments. It was found that the solution concentration invoked the highest main effect on fiber diameter, whereas both rotational speed of the fiber-collecting cylinder and addition of a conductivity-enhancing salt could significantly affect the degree of fiber alignment. By carefully controlling the electrospinning parameters and solution properties, fibrous scaffolds of desired characteristics could be made to meet the requirements of different tissue engineering applications. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

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