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

Spring 4-22-2021

Document Type

Thesis (Local Only Access)



Persistent identifier


Committee members

Shih-Feng Chou, Fredericka Brown, Nelson Fumo


Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering