Hydrogels are a suitable scaffold material for a variety of tissue engineering applications. However, these materials have a weak structure and require reinforcement. Integrating electrospun fibers could strengthen material properties. This study created fibers and evaluated the influence of the presence of polar head groups within a polysaccharide backbone following functionalization: silated-hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (Si-HPMC). Electrospinning is a multi-parameter, step by step process that requires optimization of solution and process parameters to understand and control the process. Fibers were created for 2%–3% wt
solutions in water and ethanol. Viscosities of solutions were correlated with spinnability. Variations on process parameters did not reveal major variation on fiber morphology. Once controlled, the process was used for HPMC/Si-HPMC mixture solutions. Solubilization and dilution of Si-HPMC were made with common solvents for electrospinning. Two forms of polymer conformation were electrospun: silanol ending and silanolate ending. Microstructures and resulting nanofibers were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Analysis (EDX). The results show the feasibility of our strategy for creating nanofibers and the influence of polar head groups on electrospinnability.
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