Near-Field Electrospinning Patterning Polycaprolactone and Polycaprolactone/Collagen Interconnected Fiber Membrane

15 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.