Electrospun fibers have emerged as potential candidates in topical drug delivery. However, natural polymers with stiff and rigid backbones remain difficult to electrospin due to insufficient chain entanglement. In this work, alginate (ALG) fibers were electrospun with a copolymer of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) at various compositions. Results showed that PVA improved the electrospinnability of PVA/ALG fibers up to 2 wt% of ALG composition. In addition to the copolymer effects, this work also investigated the role of poloxamers as an additive in polycaprolactone (PCL) fibers on fiber electrospinnability and physicomechanical properties. Results demonstrated that poloxamers significantly affected both experimental quantities, suggesting the improvement of chain entanglements and the reduction of surface tensions in polymer solutions. This work provided scientific understanding on the roles of a copolymer and an additive in electrospinning with the guides to engineering applications in mass productions of electrospun fibers.
Date of publication
Thesis (Local Only Access)
Shih-Feng Chou, Fredericka Brown, Nelson Fumo
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Faglie, Addison R., "ROLES OF A COPOLYMER AND AN ADDITIVE ON THE ELECTROSPINNABILITY AND PHYSICOMECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF ELECTROSPUN FIBERS" (2021). Mechanical Engineering Theses. Paper 15.