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Application of response surface methodology to tailor the surface chemistry of electrospun chitosan-poly(ethylene oxide) fibers

Bösiger, Peter, Richard, Isabelle M.T., Le Gat, Luce, Michen, Benjamin, Schubert, Mark, Rossi, René M., Fortunato, Giuseppino
Carbohydrate polymers 2018 v.186 pp. 122-131
bioactive properties, chitosan, crystal structure, engineering, models, molecular weight, nanofibers, nitrogen, nitrogen content, polyethylene glycol, response surface methodology, solubility
Chitosan is a promising biocompatible polymer for regenerative engineering applications, but its processing remains challenging due to limited solubility and rigid crystalline structure. This work represents the development of electrospun chitosan/poly(ethylene oxide) blend nanofibrous membranes by means of a numerical analysis in order to identify and tailor the main influencing parameters with respect to accessible surface nitrogen functionalities which are of importance for the biological activity as well as for further functionalization. Depending on the solution composition, both gradient fibers and homogenous blended fiber structures could be obtained with surface nitrogen concentrations varying between 0 and 6.4%. Response surface methodology (RSM) revealed chitosan/poly(ethylene oxide) ratio and chitosan molecular weight as the main influencing factors with respect to accessible nitrogen surface atoms and respective concentrations. The model showed good adequacy hence providing a tool to tailor the surface properties of chitosan/poly(ethylene oxide) blends by addressing the amount of accessible chitosan.