Preparation and characterization of electrospun poly(ε-caprolactone)-poly(l-lactic acid) nanofiber tubes
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Recently, attempts have been made to develop nanofiber tubes suitable for nerve regeneration made of biodegradable nanofibers. Among all polymeric nanofibers, poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) is distinctively known for better mechanical stability and poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) for relatively faster biodegradability. Our purpose of study is to investigate their blending compatibility and the ability to form nanofiber tubes via electrospinning. We electrospun the PCL–PLLA nanofiber tubular using different blend ratios of PCL–PLLA. The electrospun nanofibers were continuously deposited over high speed rotating mandrel to fabricate nanofiber tubes having inner diameter of 2 mm and the wall thickness of 55–65 μm. The diameters of nanofibers were between 715 and 860 nm. The morphologies of PCL–PLLA nanofiber tubes were examined under scanning electron microscope, and showed better structural stability and formability than the neat PLLA nanofibers. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy study revealed that the PCL–PLLA blend nanofiber exhibited characteristic peaks of both PCL and PLLA and was composition-dependent. Raman and X-ray diffraction studies showed that the increasing PCL ratio in the PCL–PLLA blend increased crystallinity of PCL–PLLA blends. Differential scanning calorimetry revealed recrystallization peaks in PCL–PLLA blends ratios of 1:2 and 1:1. Based on characterization, the electrospun PCL–PLLA nanofiber tubes is considered to be a better candidate for further in vivo or in vitro investigation, and resolve biocompatibility issues in tissue engineering.
KeywordsPLLA Electrospun Nanofibers PDLA Neat PLLA Nerve Guide
This work was supported by Grant-in-Aid for Global COE Program by the Ministry of Education, Culture Sports Science, and Technology, Japan.
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