Author(s): Schiffman JD, Schauer CL
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Abstract In the present study, we have electrospun various grades of chitosan and cross-linked them using a novel method involving glutaraldehyde (GA) vapor, utilizing a Schiff base imine functionality. Chemical, structural, and mechanical analyses have been conducted by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Kawabata microtensile testing, respectively. Additionally, the solubilities of the as-spun and cross-linked chitosan mats have been evaluated;solubility was greatly improved after cross-linking. SEM images displayed evidence that unfiltered low, medium, and high molecular weight chitosans, as well as practical-grade chitosan, can be electrospun into nanofibrous mats. The as-spun medium molecular weight chitosan nanofibers have a Young's modulus of 154.9 +/- 40.0 MPa and display a pseudo-yield point that arose due to the transition from the pulling of a fibrous mat with high cohesive strength to the sliding and elongation of fibers. As-spun mats were highly soluble in acidic and aqueous solutions. After cross-linking, the medium molecular weight fibers increased in diameter by an average of 161 nm, have a decreased Young's modulus of 150.8 +/- 43.6 MPa, and were insoluble in basic, acidic, and aqueous solutions. Though the extent to which GA penetrates into the chitosan fibers is currently unknown, it is evident that the cross-linking resulted in increased brittleness, a color change, and the restriction of fiber sliding that resulted in the loss of a pseudo-yield point.
This article was published in Biomacromolecules
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology
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