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How To Electrospin Collagen/Zein Nanofiber Membranes?


Scanning electron microscopy images of electrospun nanofibers fabricated from (A) neat collagen solution

Many efforts have been made to study how to electrospun collagen because of its wide biomedical and food applications. The solvent system is one of the toughest problems to solve before electrospinning. The spinnability of lyophilized type I collagen sponges derived from cow tendon, as the raw material, has been investigated by altering the solvent systems. To increase the rate of evaporation, the proportion of ethanol in the water/ethanol solution is increased. However, the collagen is denatured by the increase in ethanol concentration. Moreover, collagen solutions at a wide variety of concentrations are prepared in 90% (v/v) aqueous acetic acid solution. The same result is obtained because of the low viscosity. Zein from corn and collagen from bovine Achilles tendon are dissolved in aqueous acetic acid (70% v/v) and then co-electrospun. The figure shows that the average diameter of the fibers becomes bulkier with an increased concentration of zein. Furthermore, the tensile strength and the water contact angles of the collagen/zein nanofiber membranes also increase, while the elongation displays the opposite trend. It has been confirmed that the spinnability of collagen is improved with the addition of zein.

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