The electrospinning of polycaprolactone (PCL) dissolved in glacial acetic acid and the characterization of the resultant nonwoven fiber mats is reported in this work. For comparison purposes, PCL fiber mats were also obtained by electrospinning the polymer dissolved in chloroform. Given the processing parameters chosen, results show that 14 and 17 wt % PCL solutions are not viscous enough and yield beaded fibers, 20 and 23 wt % solutions give rise to high quality fibers and 26 wt % solutions yield mostly irregular and fused fibers. The nonwoven mats are highly porous, retain the high tensile strain of PCL, and the fibers are semicrystalline. Cells adhere and proliferate equally well on all mats, irrespective of the solvent used in their production. In conclusion, mats obtained by electrospinning PCL dissolved in acetic acid are also a good option to consider when producing scaffolds for tissue engineering. Moreover, acetic acid is miscible with polar solvents, which may allow easier blending of PCL with hydrophilic polymers and therefore achieve the production of electrospun nanofibers with improved properties.
- Biomedical applications
- Mechanical properties