The relationships between the structural features and mechanical properties of electrospun segmented polyurethane (SPU) meshes and electrospinning parameters such as formulation (e.g., polymer concentration and solvent mixing ratio) and operation parameters (e.g., applied voltage, air gap, and flow rate) were studied with the use of a mixed-solvent system of tetrahydrofuran (THF) and N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMF). After the relationships between the structure of electrospun SPU and the operation parameters under a fixed SPU concentration of single THF solution were established, SPU was electrospun from the mixed solvent of THF and DMF with different mixing ratios [DMF content: 5, 10, and 30% (v/v)]. Scanning electron microscopy showed that an increase in DMF ratio significantly enhances the degree of bonding between SPU fibers at contact sites and decreases the diameter of fibers formed. The porosimetric characterization showed the following: (1) The porosity of the electrospun SPU meshes decreased with an increase of DMF ratio. (2) The pore size distribution exhibited three representative peaks of different void sizes (i.e., approximately 5, 20, and 70 μm). (3) The proportion of the 20-μm void markedly decreased with an increase in DMF ratio. A tensile test on the meshes showed that an increase in DMF ratio induces an increase in elasticity of the mesh. Such a regulation of the structural features and mechanical properties of electrospun SPU meshes using a mixed-solvent system with low- and high-boiling-point solvents may be useful in the engineering of SPU-fiber based matrices or scaffolds.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 2006|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering