Poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and sodium alginate (SA) are water-soluble polymers with excellent biocompatibility suitable for biomedical applications in wound dressings. In this study, pure PVA, pure SA, and blends of PVA/SA membranes were solvent cast into films followed by crosslinking in CaCl2, boric acid, and a mixture of CaCl2/boric acid solutions for 5, 10, and 30 minutes. Initial feasibility studies showed a strong correlation of film thickness to the observed mechanical properties. Further studies in solvent casting of blend PVA/SA films, using various polymer concentrations, yielded better film appearance with minimal physical changes after crosslinking. The corresponding chemical structures of the PVA/SA films after crosslinking suggested a consolidated molecular packing network, resulting in the increases of their mechanical properties. In general, this work demonstrates the feasibility of solvent casting as well as crosslinking of the polymer films with the intention to provide information in design and manufacturing of wound dressing materials

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Shih-Feng Chou, Chung Hyun Goh, Ph.D. and Fredericka Brown, Ph.D.


Master in Mechanical Engineering

Available for download on Thursday, December 16, 2021