Essential oils (EOs) of clary sage and black pepper induce changes in the morphology of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) electrospun fibres. The chemical composition of the oils is analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy; while the evaporation rate of the EOs and their main chemical components is characterised by Thermogravimetric Analysis. The addition of EOs generate thermodynamic instabilities during the electrospinning process, leading to the formation of fibres with either wrinkled (for clary sage oil) or nano-textured surfaces (for black pepper oil). The morphology of the PLA-EOs fibres is investigated by Scanning Electron Microscopy. Together with a well-defined structure, the fibres produced also possess antibacterial activity, as demonstrated by viability loss tests conducted on E. coli
and S. epidermidis
. Bacteria inactivation efficiency of 76 and 100% is reported for the composite PLA/essential oils electrospun mats. The composite mats produced are promising in the biomedical field, where nanotopography offers physical cues to regulate cell behaviour, and the delivery of therapeutic compounds (essential oils) limits microbial growth.
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