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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(7), 551;

Nanostructured Hydrogels by Blend Electrospinning of Polycaprolactone/Gelatin Nanofibers

Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering (MaTCh), Ghent University, Technologiepark 907, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
Research Unit of Physical Chemistry and Polymer Science, Department of Materials and Chemistry, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 25 June 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Development of Nanostructured Thin Films)
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Nanofibrous membranes based on polycaprolactone (PCL) have a large potential for use in biomedical applications but are limited by the hydrophobicity of PCL. Blend electrospinning of PCL with other biomedical suited materials, such as gelatin (Gt) allows for the design of better and new materials. This study investigates the possibility of blend electrospinning PCL/Gt nanofibrous membranes which can be used to design a range of novel materials better suited for biomedical applications. The electrospinnability and stability of PCL/Gt blend nanofibers from a non-toxic acid solvent system are investigated. The solvent system developed in this work allows good electrospinnable emulsions for the whole PCL/Gt composition range. Uniform bead-free nanofibers can easily be produced, and the resulting fiber diameter can be tuned by altering the total polymer concentration. Addition of small amounts of water stabilizes the electrospinning emulsions, allowing the electrospinning of large and homogeneous nanofibrous structures over a prolonged period. The resulting blend nanofibrous membranes are analyzed for their composition, morphology, and homogeneity. Cold-gelling experiments on these novel membranes show the possibility of obtaining water-stable PCL/Gt nanofibrous membranes, as well as nanostructured hydrogels reinforced with nanofibers. Both material classes provide a high potential for designing new material applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomaterial; biomedical; nanofibers; scaffolds; reinforced; hybrid material; thermal analysis; nanofibrous membranes biomaterial; biomedical; nanofibers; scaffolds; reinforced; hybrid material; thermal analysis; nanofibrous membranes

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Daelemans, L.; Steyaert, I.; Schoolaert, E.; Goudenhooft, C.; Rahier, H.; De Clerck, K. Nanostructured Hydrogels by Blend Electrospinning of Polycaprolactone/Gelatin Nanofibers. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 551.

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