• biomaterials;
  • blends;
  • drug delivery systems


The purpose of this research was to develop blends of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) by two approaches: solvent casting and freeze-drying to develop membranes for various biomedical applications. The PVA/PEO/CMC blends in different compositions of 90/10/20, 80/20/20, 70/30/20, 60/40/20, and 50/50/20 were prepared and were coated on polyester (PET) nonwoven fabric and were subsequently freeze-dried (FD). The influence of PEO concentration on the blend membranes was investigated and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry, and attenuated total reflectance-fourier transform infra-red (ATR–FTIR) techniques. The water vapor transmission rate (WVTR), swelling behavior, and surface morphology of the FD membranes was also investigated. It was observed that an increase of PEO concentration in blends makes the membranes more fragile. However, the coating of this blend on PET fabric helps in developing the stable membrane. Swelling of the membranes decreased with the increase in the PEO concentration. XRD showed decrease in crystallinity with increase in concentration of PEO. Morphological studies showed a highly porous structure with interconnected pores. The total porosity of the membranes was found to be in the range 89–92%. The FD membranes were found to have WVTR in the range 2000–3000 g/m2/day. A model drug, ciprofloxacin hydrochloride was also incorporated in the matrix and drug release was studied. The antimicrobial nature of the membranes was monitored against E. coli by zone of inhibition method. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013