The new electrospinning technology NanospiderTM, offering a real potential for industrial production of nanofibers, is used for the preparation of nanofiber sheets from aqueous solutions of polymer blends. The nanofiber sheets are prepared from a mixture of chitosan and polyethylenoxide (PEO) and using the novel continual electrospinning process (Jirsak et al., 2005, www.nanospider.cz) affords a network with typical fiber diameters that are less than 500 nm. Effects of solvents, molecular weight of both polymers, monovalent salt, surfactant and composition of chitosan blend on electrospinning are also studied.
The optimal conditions for electrospinning by the NanospiderTM technology, including applied high voltage, distance between both electrodes, air temperature and air humidity, are also found. The crosslinking of the nanofiber sheet is achieved by heat treatment. The morphology of electrospun fibers is observed by using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Chitosan in the nanofiber sheets format has a great potential to be widely used in various applications derived from its biocompatibility and biodegradability.
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