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Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering

Front Chem Sci Eng    2011, Vol. 5 Issue (1) : 11-18     DOI: 10.1007/s11705-010-1011-x
Electrospinning of polycarbonate urethane biomaterials
Yakai FENG(), Fanru MENG, Ruofang XIAO, Haiyang ZHAO, Jintang GUO()
School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
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Polycarbonate urethane (PCU) nano-fibers were fabricated via electrospinning using N,N- dimethylformamide (DMF) and tetrahydrofuran (THF) as the mixed solvent. The effect of volume ratios of DMF and THF in the mixed solvent on the fiber structures was investigated. The results show that nano-fibers with a narrow diameter distribution and a few defects were obtained when mixed solvent with the appropriate volume ratio of DMF and THF as 1∶1. When the proportion of DMF was more than 75% in the mixed solvent, it was easy to form many beaded fibers. The applied voltage in the electrospinning process has a significant influence on the morphology of fibers. When the electric voltage was set between 22 and 32 kV, the average diameters of the fibers were found between 420 and 570 nm. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images showed that fiber diameter and structural morphology of the electrospun PCU membranes are a function of the polymer solution concentration. When the concentration of PCU solution was 6.0 wt-%, a beaded-fiber microstructure was obtained. With increasing the concentration of PCU solutions above 6.0 wt-%, beaded fiber decreased and finally disappeared. However, when the PCU concentration was over 14.0 wt-%, the average diameter of fibers became large, closed to 2 μm, because of the high solution viscosity. The average diameter of nanofibers increased linearly with increasing the volume flow rate of the PCU solution (10.0 wt-%) when the applied voltage was 24 kV. The results show that the morphology of PCU fibers could be controlled by electrospinning parameters, such as solution concentration, electric voltage and flow rate.

Keywords electrospinning      polycarbonate urethane      process parameter      average diameter      morphology     
Corresponding Authors: FENG Yakai,; GUO Jintang,   
Issue Date: 05 March 2011
 Cite this article:   
Yakai FENG,Fanru MENG,Jintang GUO, et al. Electrospinning of polycarbonate urethane biomaterials[J]. Front Chem Sci Eng, 2011, 5(1): 11-18.
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Yakai FENG
Fanru MENG
Jintang GUO
Ruofang XIAO
Haiyang ZHAO
Fig.1  SEM of PCU fiber membranes prepared at the voltage of 20 kV, volume flow rate of 1.5 mL/h, concentration of PCU 10.0 wt-%. The volume ratios of DMF/THF solvent were 1 ∶ 0 (a), 3 ∶ 1 (b), 1 ∶ 1 (c), 1 ∶ 3 (d)
sample ID in Fig. 1volume ratio of DMF/THFviscosity /(mPa·S)conductivity /(μs·cm-1)average diameter /μmvariance
a1 ∶ 05421.370.24±0.01 (calculated without beaded-fibers)0.06
b3 ∶ 16752.300.72±0.170.23
c1 ∶ 16774.200.92±0.180.20
d1 ∶ 38400.351.15±1.631.42
Tab.1  Average diameter of fibers prepared at different volume ratio of DMF/THF as mixed solvent
Fig.2  SEM of PCU fiber membranes prepared at the volume flow rate of 0.6 mL/h, concentration of 10.0 wt-% PCU, volume ratio of DMF/THF solvent of 1 ∶ 1, at applied voltage: 22 kV (a), 24 kV (b), 26 kV (c), 30 kV (d), 32 kV(e)
sample ID in Fig. 2voltage /kVaverage diameter/nmvariance
Tab.2  Average diameter of fibers prepared at different voltages
Fig.3  SEM of PCU fiber membranes prepared at the voltage of 20 kV, volume flow rate of 0.9 mL/h, volume ratio of DMF/THF solvent of 3 ∶ 1, and different PCU concentrations: 6.0 wt-% (a), 10.0 wt-% (b), 12.0 wt-% (c), 14.0 wt-% (d)
sample ID in Fig. 3PCU concentration /(wt-%)viscosity /(mPa·S)surface tension /(mN·m-1)conductivity /(μs·cm-1)average diameter /μmvariance
a6.07335.20.880.35±0.05(calculated without beaded-fibers)0.15
Tab.3  Average diameter of fibers when electrospinning at different concentrations of PCU
Fig.4  SEM of PCU fiber membranes prepared at the voltage of 24 kV, PCU concentration of 10.0 wt-%, volume ratio of DMF/THF solvent of 1 ∶ 3, and different volume flow rate: 0.6 mL/h (a), 0.9 mL/h (b), 1.2 mL/h (c), 1.5 mL/h (d), 1.8 mL/h (e)
sample ID in Fig. 4flow rate /(mL·h-1)average diameter /μmvariance
Tab.4  Average diameter of fibers when electrospinning at different flow rates
Fig.5  SEM of PCU fiber membranes prepared at the voltage of 30 kV, volume flow rate of 0.6 mL/h, PCU concentration of 10.0 wt-%, and volume ratio of DMF/THF solvent of 1 ∶ 1, with different inner diameter of tips: 0.34 mm (a), 0.32 mm (b)
sample ID in Fig. 5inner diameter of tip /mmaverage diameter /nmvariance
Tab.5  Average diameter of fibers when electrospinning with different inner diameter of tips
sample ID in Fig. 2voltage /kVE /MPaσb /MPa?b /%
PCU film8.5±0.5537.5±5.8600±40
Tab.6  Mechanical properties of fiber membranes prepared at different voltages
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