Near-Field Electrospinning Patterning Polycaprolactone and Polycaprolactone/Collagen Interconnected Fiber Membrane15 Jan 2018
Solution-based near-ﬁeld electrospinning is employed to construct polymeric network membranes, made of orderly arranged and interconnected ﬁbers. The narrow tip-to-nozzle separation of the direct-writing process leads to solvent enriched ﬁbers being deposited on the substrate, despite the use of a low boiling point solvent. This results in ﬁbers with low cross-sectional aspect ratio (ﬂattened appearance), but providing a unique opportunity to produce interconnected ﬁber junctions through in situ, localized solvent etching by subsequent ﬁber overlays. Orthogonal networks of polycaprolactone (PCL) ﬁbres, or PCL/collagen composite ﬁbres, are fabricated, and then character-ized by microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. This study presents a direct approach to strengthen interﬁber junctions, and further the feasibility to inter-weave and interconnect ﬁbers of different properties, leading to networked membranes with potentially tailorable functions for tissue engineering applications and beyond.