Special Issue "Electrospinning of Biopolymer Nanofibers"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Andrea Ehrmann
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering and Mathematics, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, 33619 Bielefeld, Germany
Interests: biopolymers; electrospinning; magnetism; spintronics; optics; dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs); smart textiles
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Electrospinning is a versatile technique to produce nanofibers from diverse polymers. Especially biopolymers are often dissolvable in water and can thus be electrospun in an eco-friendly way. These materials, however, need a crosslinking after-treatment to receive the desired amount of water-resistance. On the other hand, water-resistant polymers can be blended with water-soluble biopolymers, in this way modifying the nanofiber morphology or adding the intrinsic functionalities of the latter, such as antibacterial or fungicide properties. Other biopolymers are intrinsically water-stable and thus do not need crosslinking or blending for most applications.

This special issue focusses on electrospinning of biopolymers, either solely or blended with other biopolymers or man-made polymers. It covers the full range from basic research on electrospinnability with different techniques (needle, wire, cylinder etc.) to “green” crosslinking routes to possible applications and methods of upscaling nanofiber production from laboratory to industry scale.

Prof. Dr. Andrea Ehrmann
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • biopolymer nanofibers
  • electrospun biopolymer blends
  • intrinsic properties of electrospun biopolymers
  • nanofibers for tissue engineering
  • bio-medical applications of biopolymer nanofibers
  • green electrospinning
  • crosslinking electrospun biopolymers with non-toxic substances

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Electron-Beam Irradiation of the PLLA/CMS/β-TCP Composite Nanofibers Obtained by Electrospinning
Polymers 2020, 12(7), 1593; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12071593 - 17 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 875
Abstract
Nanofibrous materials produced by electrospinning processes have potential advantages in tissue engineering because of their biocompatibility, biodegradability, biomimetic architecture, and excellent mechanical properties. The aim of the current work is to study the influence of the electron beam on the poly L-lactide acid/ [...] Read more.
Nanofibrous materials produced by electrospinning processes have potential advantages in tissue engineering because of their biocompatibility, biodegradability, biomimetic architecture, and excellent mechanical properties. The aim of the current work is to study the influence of the electron beam on the poly L-lactide acid/ carboxy-methyl starch/β-tricalcium phosphate (PLLA/CMS/β-TCP) composite nanofibers for potential applications as bone-tissue scaffolds. The composite nanofibers were prepared by electrospinning in the combination of 5% v/v carboxy-methyl starch (CMS) and 0.25 wt% of β-TCP with the PLLA as a matrix component. The composites nanofibers were exposed under 5, 30, and 100 kGy of irradiation dose. The electron-beam irradiation showed no morphological damage to the fibers, and slight reduction in the water-contact angle and mechanical strength at the higher-irradiation doses. The chain scission was found to be a dominant effect; the higher doses of electron-beam irradiation thus increased the in vitro degradation rate of the composite nanofibers. The chemical interaction due to irradiation was indicated by the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrum and thermal behavior was investigated by a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). The results showed that the electron-beam-induced poly L-lactide acid/carboxy-methyl starch/β-tricalcium phosphate (PLLA/CMS/β-TCP) composite nanofibers may have great potential for bone-tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospinning of Biopolymer Nanofibers)
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Article
Well-Blended PCL/PEO Electrospun Nanofibers with Functional Properties Enhanced by Plasma Processing
Polymers 2020, 12(6), 1403; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061403 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1546
Abstract
Biodegradable composite nanofibers were electrospun from poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) mixtures dissolved in acetic and formic acids. The variation of PCL:PEO concentration in the polymer blend, from 5:95 to 75:25, revealed the tunability of the hydrolytic stability and mechanical properties of [...] Read more.
Biodegradable composite nanofibers were electrospun from poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) mixtures dissolved in acetic and formic acids. The variation of PCL:PEO concentration in the polymer blend, from 5:95 to 75:25, revealed the tunability of the hydrolytic stability and mechanical properties of the nanofibrous mats. The degradation rate of PCL/PEO nanofibers can be increased compared to pure PCL, and the mechanical properties can be improved compared to pure PEO. Although PCL and PEO have been previously reported as immiscible, the electrospinning into nanofibers having restricted dimensions (250–450 nm) led to a microscopically mixed PCL/PEO blend. However, the hydrolytic stability and tensile tests revealed the segregation of PCL into few-nanometers-thin fibrils in the PEO matrix of each nanofiber. A synergy phenomenon of increased stiffness appeared for the high concentration of PCL in PCL/PEO nanofibrous mats. The pure PCL and PEO mats had a Young’s modulus of about 12 MPa, but the mats made of high concentration PCL in PCL/PEO solution exhibited 2.5-fold higher values. The increase in the PEO content led to faster degradation of mats in water and up to a 20-fold decrease in the nanofibers’ ductility. The surface of the PCL/PEO nanofibers was functionalized by an amine plasma polymer thin film that is known to increase the hydrophilicity and attach proteins efficiently to the surface. The combination of different PCL/PEO blends and amine plasma polymer coating enabled us to tune the surface functionality, the hydrolytic stability, and the mechanical properties of biodegradable nanofibrous mats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospinning of Biopolymer Nanofibers)
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Article
Electrospun Eco-Friendly Materials Based on Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and TiO2 with Antifungal Activity Prospective for Esca Treatment
Polymers 2020, 12(6), 1384; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061384 - 20 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 836
Abstract
Esca is a type of grapevine trunk disease that severely affects vine yield and longevity. Phaeomoniella chlamydospora (P. chlamydospora) is one of the main fungi associated with esca. The aim of the present study was to obtain eco-friendly materials with potential [...] Read more.
Esca is a type of grapevine trunk disease that severely affects vine yield and longevity. Phaeomoniella chlamydospora (P. chlamydospora) is one of the main fungi associated with esca. The aim of the present study was to obtain eco-friendly materials with potential antifungal activity against P. chlamydospora based on biodegradable and biocompatible poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB), nanosized TiO2-anatase (nanoTiO2), and chitosan oligomers (COS) by conjunction of electrospinning and electrospraying. One-pot electrospinning of a suspension of nanosized TiO2 nanoparticles in PHB solution resulted in materials in which TiO2 was incorporated within the fibers (design type “in”). Simultaneous electrospinning of PHB solution and electrospraying of the dispersion of nanosized TiO2 in COS solution enabled the preparation of materials consisting of PHB fibers on which TiO2 was deposited on the fibers’ surface (design type “on”). Several methods including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), thermogravimetric analyses (TGA) and water contact angle were utilized to characterize the obtained materials. The incorporation of nanoTiO2 in the PHB fibers, as well as nanoTiO2 deposition onto the surface of the PHB fibers resulted in increased roughness and hydrophobicity of the obtained composite fibrous materials. Moreover, TiO2-on-PHB fibrous material exhibited complete inhibition of fungal growth of P. chlamydospora. Therefore, the obtained eco-friendly fibrous materials based on PHB and nanoTiO2 are promising candidates for protection against esca in agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospinning of Biopolymer Nanofibers)
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Article
Electrospinning of Cellulose Nanocrystal-Reinforced Polyurethane Fibrous Mats
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051021 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1330
Abstract
We report the electrospinning of mechanically-tunable, cellulose nanocrystal (CNC)-reinforced polyurethanes (PUs). Using high-aspect ratio CNCs from tunicates, the stiffness and strength of electrospun PU/CNC mats are shown to generally increase. Furthermore, by tuning the electrospinning conditions, fibrous PU/CNC mats were created with either [...] Read more.
We report the electrospinning of mechanically-tunable, cellulose nanocrystal (CNC)-reinforced polyurethanes (PUs). Using high-aspect ratio CNCs from tunicates, the stiffness and strength of electrospun PU/CNC mats are shown to generally increase. Furthermore, by tuning the electrospinning conditions, fibrous PU/CNC mats were created with either aligned or non-aligned fibers, as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. PU/CNC mats having fibers aligned in the strain direction were stiffer and stronger compared to mats containing non-aligned fibers. Interestingly, fiber alignment was accompanied by an anisotropic orientation of the CNCs, as confirmed by wide-angle X-ray scattering, implying their alignment additionally benefits both stiffness and strength of fibrous PU/CNC nanocomposite mats. These findings suggest that CNC alignment could serve as an additional reinforcement mechanism in the design of stronger fibrous nanocomposite mats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospinning of Biopolymer Nanofibers)
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